Public inquiry to examine concerns over rail line

A PUBLIC inquiry which is due to examine the proposed reopening of the €90 million-plus Cork to Midleton rail line has received 35 submissions, it was confirmed last night.

Ivor Geraghty, secretary to the inquiry, said that he was now preparing these submissions, which mainly concentrated on concerns rather than objections, for a public hearing which will take place in Midleton, Co Cork, starting on Tuesday, October 31.

Mr Geraghty pointed out that submissions had come from individuals, groups and businesses and the number was about average for such railway developments.

“These submissions expressed, on the whole, concerns rather than objections,” he stated.

His job is now to put them together for the hearing which will take place in the Jameson Suite of the Midleton Park Hotel.

“I expect that the hearing will last from October 31 to November 3. In the first day and a half to two days CIE [Iarnród Éireann] will put their case forward. Over the remaining days we will then hear the submissions,” Mr Geraghty said.

The inspector presiding over the hearing will be a well-known senior counsel Pat Butler.

“After that [the hearing] a report will then go to the Minister for Transport [Martin Cullen]. The inspector may recommend certain conditions be placed on the order before it goes for approval,” Mr Geraghty added.

A spokesman for Iarnród Éireann said the full cost of the project had yet to be determined. However, it is believed it will cost around €90m to lay down track and open automated stations at North Esk, near Dunkettle, and at Carrigtwohill and Midleton.

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