10,000 object to road plan for park

A group attempting to stop the building of a road through a section of Tralee Town Park claims to have collected around 10,000 signatures to a petition it has organised.

The Save The Green group, in the Kerry county town which organised its first campaign more than 40 years ago, yesterday said the park was sacrosanct and it will continue to oppose any road developments there.

“When the park was purchased as a public amenity about 90 years ago, it had 120 acres but is now down to 35 acres. We’re determined to protect what remains and will continue to object to any further erosion of the park,” said group chairman Tommy Collins.

“The anger among people is palpable and we’re very satisfied with the public’s response to our campaign.”

Four of the 12 Tralee town councillors, including mayor Johnny Wall, have come out in support of the group and other councillors are being lobbied.

The group was formed in 1969 when it was proposed to build a road through another section of the park and succeeded in preventing it.

The latest campaign arises from a proposal in the new Tralee Transportation Strategy, currently out for public consultation.

The strategy proposes a new roadway for motor traffic along 50 metres of a pedestrian-only walkway, close to the Siamsa Tire Theatre and exiting onto Princes St.

The walkway was recently named the Neil Armstrong Way in honour of the first man to walk on the moon, who visited Tralee in 1995.

Mr Collins said over the years a number of attempts had been made to construct roadways through the park, but were strongly resisted by the public.

He also said the local town council had promised in a 2004 statement of principles, or charter, to protect the park, including the area now being earmarked for a roadway.

“But we are aware the council can take a democratic decision to change that charter and, for that reason, the people of Tralee need to be vigilant when it comes to protecting the park,” he said.

* A public meeting will be held by the Save The Green group in Tralee’s Grand Hotel, this Thursday at 8pm, detailing the situation and a history of the group’s activities.

More in this section