COUNCILLOR CALLS FOR ‘JUTTING’ FOOTPATH TO BE REMOVED

Councillor Martin Farren is concerned about road safety.
Councillor Martin Farren is concerned about road safety.

An Inishowen councillor has called a section of road on the Battery Brae at Greencastle an “immediate danger to users.”

Councillor Martin Farren said that a piece of path “jutting out” on to the road has contributed to two traffic accidents in recent weeks and he has “serious concerns” it will lead to others.

He said: “This is a very busy road and the Gardai and fire brigade had to attend these accidents. The road narrows as you travel towards this piece which is jutting out and it needs to be taken away as soon as possible.”

Councillor Farren said the old stone-lined footpath running from Adelaide House towards the village “is narrow, overgrown and in serious disrepair.”

He added: “It is an immediate danger to users. To remedy this would require the whole footpath to be removed and replaced with a standard width footpath which would reduce the road carriageway by about one metre.”

Councillor Farren said the section must be removed as an issue of safety and urged the council to contact the receivers of the land in which it is located.

He said there is an almost complete run of modern footpath towards the village, but a “gap” in this at the Castle Inn development site.

He said that along with the safety concerns on the road, the land around the Castle was private and he proposed the council approach the receiver about remedying outstanding issues.

He said: “The entry from the Battery Brae into the Castle Inn apartments has not been completed in accordance with planning consent. The Castle Inn complex is in receivership and there are tenants in some of the apartments who are complaining about the non-completion issues within the estate.”

He added: “De Burgh’s Castle is in State ownership but the land it stands on is in private ownership and is currently in the hands of the same receiver. Nothing can be done about protecting the castle or developing it as a tourism resource while the surrounding land remains private.

“I am proposing that this Council approach the receiver with a view to finding a solution to both problems. I am suggesting that we make an approach to the receiver to suggest that the Council be deeded the land on which De Burgh’s Castle stands in return for remedying the outstanding completion issues to the satisfaction of the tenants and the planning authority.”

Colr Farren said a group of local people had been pursuing the idea of promoting the castle as a tourism attraction for many years. He added that in spite of this being warmly received by tourism promotors, archaeologists, academics and prospective funders over the years, nothing has been possible because of this “Irish anomaly” of the State owning the building, but not the land.

He said that while Banba’s Crown in Malin Head had similar ownership issues, the problems have been worked through and an “outstanding” tourism attraction had been delivered for Inishowen. Colr Farren said De Burgh’s Castle could be another.

However, he stressed that for the meantime, the safety issue regarding the “jutting out” road was most prevalent.

He told last week’s Inishowen Municipal District meeting: “We need to look at the big picture and use common sense and get it removed. The solution to this, in my opinion, would be to remove the wall and ask questions later.”