Clare road plan is not in best interests of locals

Clare County Council recently voted through the incorporation of the Northern Distributor Road and the re-zoning of lands in south east Clare into the Clare County Development Plan.

This was done against the wishes of the people of the region and against the wishes of 85% of hundreds of submissions that were lodged in relation to this purposed development.

What Clare County Council actually achieved, if approved by An Bord Pleanala, is the construction of a motorway-like structure running from Coonagh roundabout to the Cappamore roundabout on the N7.

This will in fact act as a detour for tolled tunnel traffic. This makes the €600m tunnel structure now redundant.

Due to contractual arrangements, the consortium that owns the tunnel have a guaranteed income for the next 30 years until such time as it falls into public ownership.

Since its opening in 2010, tax payers have filled the revenue gap of an average of €5m per annum.

It thus follows that public liability will drastically increase if this detour becomes a reality.

Clare County Council have now signed the death warrant of the viability of the village of Parteen and its neighbouring community Ardnacrusha. Residents will now be separated from their school, their shops and their church.

The promise of a footbridge to remedy this issue is an insult to common sense.

The people of Derryfadda and Shavrokee are destined to endure years of flooding due to their close proximity to the Shannon and Blackwater rivers and its flood plains, plus the prospect of living in an industrial estate.

Clare County Council have been successful in one of the shrewdest land grabs in its own county’s history; such was the process that it makes Oliver Cromwell look like an amateur.

Farmers and residents who reside east of the Blackwater River are no longer able to develop their farms or their properties unless it is for the purpose of university expansion or university business.

To the 17 councillors, the county chairman and the non-elected executive I can only echo what was bellowed in disbelief from the mouths of the people of south east Clare standing shoulder to shoulder in the public gallery, and that is, “Shame on you!”

Martina Duffy


Co Clare

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