Saturday 25 January 2020

A bridge too far for some as protest set for court

Conor Kane

The 24-hour picket mounted by opponents of the controversial new bridge in Kilkenny is likely to end today, although there is now speculation that a legal challenge will be taken against the project.

Green Party councillor Malcolm Noonan has conceded defeat in relation to the political battle against the Central Access Scheme (CAS) following a vote by Kilkenny County Council on Monday, but protesters say their campaign will continue.

Darragh Byrne, of the Save Kilkenny protest group, said yesterday that gardai told those who have mounted a round-the-clock picket since late June that they intend to clear the site at the River Nore today.

However, Mr Byrne said the campaign of opposition is "probably going to go to legal at this stage", with opponents of the project considering their options.

A motion was brought by three councillors at Monday's meeting calling for work on the construction of the €4m bridge to be suspended, but was defeated by 17 votes to five.

"We have to accept the democratic decision that was made on Monday," said Cllr Noonan, one of the sponsors of the motion along with Sinn Féin's Kathleen Funchion and Independent Breda Gardner.


An internal review of the project is due to be presented to councillors at their September meeting next Monday.

Meanwhile, opponents of the new bridge over the River Nore have agreed to peacefully leave the picket site when the gardai arrive.

It is understood gardai do not anticipate any resistance today.

Irish Independent

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