Saturday 10 December 2016

The Nore is not the Rubicon - it is not too late to turn back

Published 05/08/2014 | 02:30

Anti CAS protesters on a homemade barge on the river Nore where the new bridge is being built, a pile driver working on the bridge is pictured in the background.
Pictured from left is Jason Quinn, Mark Stewart, Anuska Gutierrez and Jean Brett.
Picture: Dylan Vaughan
Anti CAS protesters on a homemade barge on the river Nore where the new bridge is being built, a pile driver working on the bridge is pictured in the background. Pictured from left is Jason Quinn, Mark Stewart, Anuska Gutierrez and Jean Brett. Picture: Dylan Vaughan

In 1207 Strongbow's son-in-law, William Marshall, granted a charter to Kilkenny, decreeing that the burgesses would be free of pontage. In other words, they would not have to pay tolls to use a bridge. Some 800 years later, the good burgesses of Kilkenny are loudly protesting the pont on their river.

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In time-honoured fashion, they have deployed a human defence and area residents patrol the river in their boats. While it might be home to the Cat Laughs Comedy Festival and Kilkenomics, Kilkenny citizens take their medieval settlement very seriously.

The county council issued an image of the proposed bridge at dusk complete with twinkling street lights. It looks nothing like the aberration that has been suggested. But then the air-brushed image portrays nothing of the impact on the medieval quarter, the obliterated views along the river to the protected Green's Bridge and the heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) rolling into the city's architectural conservation area.

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