We’re on the ring road to ruin

A CATASTROPHE is about to be visited on the Lee and Shournagh valleys at the behest of the NRA and Cork County Council, aided and abetted by developers and politicians with vested interests.

This takes the form of a Stalinist-style motorway the Cork northern ring road scheme through some of the most outstanding areas of natural beauty in Cork.

This motorway (comprising three supposed route options) has been conceived in total disregard of EU environmental directives relating to the impact of such a development on humans and the environment.

The mayhem that will ensue if this motorway goes ahead may be summarised as follows:

1. Complete demolition of all dwellings, cultural artefacts, a graveyard, a national monument and the Angler's Rest tavern at Leemount Cross

2. Extinguished rights of way to amenity/bathing area at 'Hellhole' and the loss of all salmonoid fishing rights on the Lee at Carrigrohane.

3. Destruction of the western landscape aspect of the Lee Valley, including lower Inniscarra.

4. Destruction of the Shournagh valley as far as Healy's Bridge, including the demolition of all dwellings adjacent to the 'footprint' of the motorway.

5. Destruction of ancient riparian woodlands as well as cessation of fishing rights in the river Shournagh.

6. Destruction of Clogheen/Kerry Pike village (dwellings/cultural, ecological and archaeological) as a consequence of land take/tunnelling for the motorway construction.

7. Social trauma and economic ruination of those affected by this motorway route for which no compensation may be adequate.

This is what the collective mindset of the NRA and Cork County Council are proposing all of course in the interest of the 'common good!'

Needless to say a cosmetic exercise by way of an environmental impact assessment will be undertaken replete with meaningless waffle, and construed in a manner to justify the project.

While a proper transport infrastructure is essential, surely it can be achieved by conducting proper feasibility studies that will ensure minimal disruption, while at the same time facilitating the common good, and complying with EU directives .

The controversy over the development of the M3 is widely covered in the media because of the incalculable archaeological damage to the Hill of Tara hinterland. At least people in Clonee/Kells will not have their homes and livelihood destroyed if the M3 development proceeds.

The Cork northern ring road scheme, as currently proposed, must be vehemently opposed by all those who will be affected by it.

Patrick L O'Brien

Woodlands

Clogheen/Kerry Pike

Co Cork

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