MITCHELSTOWN FAMILY CLAIMS 'BULLY BOY' TACTICS OVER ROAD DESIGN
A deputation of residents from the Carrigane area of Mitchelstown was received at the recent Fermoy/Mallow area meeting of Cork County Council for the purpose of discussing, ‘the current road/ bypass development in the area’.
Although Councillor Kevin O’Keeffe had put down the notice of motion, the deputation was actually introduced by his father Deputy Ned O’Keeffe who urged Cork County Council to use their good offices to explain the plight of the Lewis and Condon families to their local authority colleagues in Tipperary County Council (South Riding), and obtain satisfaction for them.
Senior members of Cork County Council’s engineering staff were invited to view the situation at Carrigane. Deputy Ned O’Keeffe told members that he was very concerned when he learned of the impact of the bypass on a number of families in the Carrigane area of Mitchelstown.
The Mitchelstown TD expressed particular concern for the Condon brothers, James and Christy, living in two bungalows which it is claimed have been totally devalued and where the road is going to tower three to four metres over their dwellings. A new bridge and structure would be adjacent to their homes, which he contended was not in keeping with best practice in dealing with people.
In addition to the two Condon bungalows, there was another resident whom he was aware would be inconvenienced in a similar fashion but this party not sought representation in the matter. Deputy O’Keeffe explained that, in addition to the Condon families, Liam Lewis a farmer with three young children in the Carrigane area, felt deeply aggrieved by the manner in which the final design stages of the roundabout was going to impact on his farmstead.
Deputy O’Keeffe contended that the manner in which the roundabout was developing would pose a danger to motorists and truck drivers not to mention visual impact. He ventured that what had gone wrong was that the consultation process had been held about two years ago and that design details had changed since then but these residents and their neighbours had not been made fully aware of the changes in design.
Deputy O’Keeffe suggested that the process had been flawed. Councillor Kevin O’Keeffe, referring to his own notice of motion said, “At the moment the NRA, through the agency of Tipperary County Council (South Riding), are constructing this motorway from outside Mitchelstown, namely at Carrigane, to Cahir. The consultation process has been badly flawed and the way the development was shaping up is causing dangerous access problems for Liam Lewis’ premises and he may have to forego the use of almost half an acre of land if he is to try and rectify the situation for future safer access”.
Cllr O’Keeffe added, “The manner of the final construction of the motorway adjacent to James Condon’s rendered the approach to his home an eyesore. It’s infuriating for the Lewis and Condon families to find such radical alterations, totally out of the blue, have been made to the 2005 plans with potentially extremely serious health and safety issues.”
“Tipperary County Council should have been far more forthcoming in consultations with the immediate landowners in the vicinity of a development such as the Mitchelstown to Cahir motorway and roundabout”.
"Certainly we would expect our senior engineers in Cork County Council to be in touch with Tipperary County Council on the issue. It’s clear that our engineers in Cork have the experience in designing and constructing motorways and roundabouts right across the county and I sincerely believe that there would not have been the present catastrophe at Carrigane if Cork engineers had been in charge”.
“The Lewis and Condon families have been totally misled”, Councillor O’Keeffe declared.
One of the members of a deputation to the meeting, Mr Liam Lewis, a farmer with a young family, claimed that the new roundabout had been practically built on his front lawn and that he had not been consulted in respect of the detailed design of the roadworks. Mr Lewis further claimed that at the oral hearing a signed agreement had been given to him indicating that the roundabout would be constructed between forty and fifty metres from the gate of his holding.
As it transpired he said the right turning roundabout was only twelve to fourteen metres from his entrance. Mr. Lewis got the impression that ‘bully boy’ tactics were being employed in the manner in which design details were being imposed without the courtesy or consideration of consultation or notification.
James Condon, New Line, Carrigane, Mitchelstown, who spoke on behalf of himself and his brother Christy, claimed that the plan for the by-pass which he was given in 2005 has not been adhered to with regard to the elevation of the road.
He said, “The new planned side road which is to go over the motorway was shown on the original drawing as rising point five of a metre higher than the existing road, but as the project is shaping up, this side road will have an elevation of at last three metres. No one has explained to me why there is this huge discrepancy between the half metre on the 2005 blueprint and the three metres plus structure now on the point of completion”.
“Quite apart from the increase in noise levels our privacy has been affected as motorway traffic looks straight down into our home. Even access to our house is going to prove difficult. We have a ramp coming from the new level of the road down to our house now, which was never necessary before. All they are offering is this standard half-road compensation, which I don’t think is adequate for what has happened”.
“The fact that they didn’t adhere to the 2005 plan that we were given, developing along totally different lines, I believe should be entitled to far more compensation than that."
James Condon worked for Dairygold Co-Operative Society for many years before being made redundant and now does some garden landscaping work. There was strong support at the meeting for the deputation with councillors Frank O’Flynn and Liam O’Doherty agreeing fully that severe access problems, together with health and safety issues, had been created for the Lewis and Condon families as a result of apparent deviation from the original 2005 set of plans for the motorway/ bypass and roundabout.
It was hoped that Cork County Council would obtain a satisfactory response from Tipperary County Council.
Thursday 10th April 6:33pm