Tuesday 26 September 2017

Family face losing home as derelict buildings saved

John and Sheena Clancy with son Jamie (4) whose home and business (behind them in photo) in Ennistymon, Co Clare, could be bulldozed. Photo: Eamon Ward
John and Sheena Clancy with son Jamie (4) whose home and business (behind them in photo) in Ennistymon, Co Clare, could be bulldozed. Photo: Eamon Ward
Caroline Crawford

Caroline Crawford

A VILLAGE is up in arms after the local council revealed plans to demolish three family homes for a new roadway - avoiding an alternative route through two derelict buildings which are protected structures.

Clare County Council revealed the preferred route for a new Inner Relief Road and bridge for Ennistymon after failing to consult with the families who would be affected.

After the local community expressed outrage at the plans, the council agreed to go back to the drawing board.

However, weeks on the families remain in limbo as to the future of their homes.

Sheena Clancy would lose her family home and flower shop business under the proposed plans.

She and her husband John only bought the home last year.

"We've only just finished it. We were actually in Dublin getting the kitchen when we heard the news about the road plans.

"It's our home and our business. It's everything really. We changed our whole plans to live here," she said.

The home of an elderly couple across the river, the social welfare office and the apartment above it would also be demolished.

An alternative route, which would result in the demolition of two derelict buildings at Blake's Corner, has not been progressed because the buildings in question are protected structures.

Council staff told locals they did not believe they would get approval from An Bord Pleanala for the Blakes Corner route to progress.

"They've given us assurances now they will revisit all options and they said they wouldn't stand over anybody being forced to leave their homes, but now we're just waiting to hear what will happen," said Ms Clancy.

"We had hoped for word on the maps last week, but there has been nothing. They said they can't give us any definitive plans at the moment. Everything is very vague, I still have an awful lot of questions that have not been answered."

A spokesperson for Clare County Council said it was engaged in a consultation process with a committee of residents and local representatives in relation to traffic management proposals at Blakes Corner.

Irish Independent

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