Monasterevin residents continue footpath fight

Monasterevin residents are still adamant they want the controversial mass concrete footpaths, which were laid by the council, to be removed as soon as possible.

Monasterevin residents are still adamant they want the controversial mass concrete footpaths, which were laid by the council, to be removed as soon as possible.

Speaking in advance of a meeting with Kildare County Council officials this Wednesday, March 24, Monasterevin committee member Teresa Troy told the Leinster Leader the residents would continue their fight to have the footpath at the Gerard Hopkins monument removed. She said they would discuss the matter with the area engineer but “this issue is a no go from a heritage point of view, and from a health and safety point of view it has to be removed.”

“We are hoping that it will go to the full council due to the fact that we have been told by the council that we are a sample town and this will be rolled out in all towns across Kildare,” she said.

At the Kildare Area Committee meeting last Wednesday March 14, Cllr Suzanne Doyle said she wanted to put the matter forward for the full council in the event that it was not resolved at this Wednesday’s meeting. However, the administrator informed her that local matters should be dealt with at area committee level and did not need to go to full council. Cllr. Doyle agreed to look into the matter with the officials.

There was uproar in Monasterevin when the footpaths were installed by the council. The residents believe they pose a hazard for drivers and pedestrians and are too wide for lorries to navigate without going on the opposite side of the road. The council said it installed the paths to allow greater access for those with mobility problems.

Area engineer, Damien McNulty had agreed to carry out a review of the works and examine the concerns of the residents. He told the meeting last week that the council would look at the radius of the path at Whelan Row. He said it could also look at how the built out area of the paths could be incorporated into the Hopkin’s monument. He said the views of the Tidy Towns and the local access group would be sought as well as the local residents to identify how to “create some synergy.” He said it was about achieving a balance and linking pedestrian crossings in the town to allow access from one side of the town to the other.

Cllr Doyle said it was a very thorough report but she still wanted to put down a motion to the full council to have the path removed following a brief consultation with the residents who had attended the meeting.