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Tuesday 22 January 2019

'Horrified' manager in tears as council opts to demolish office to build bridge

Motorists endure traffic delays visiting the Cliffs of Moher
Motorists endure traffic delays visiting the Cliffs of Moher

Gordon Deegan

A branch manager of a Department of Social Protection office earmarked for destruction to make way for a new bridge said she was "horrified" after councillors gave the project the green light.

Elizabeth McNamara left the headquarters of Clare County Council in tears yesterday after the decision.

The project is expected to eliminate the long-standing traffic bottleneck at Blake's Corner in Ennistymon that delays tens of thousands of motorists every year on their way to and from the Cliffs of Moher.

It will involve the demolition of one family home that includes a florist, and a local branch office of the Department of Social Protection.

Ms McNamara said she was "horrified" at the councillors' decision to approve the project without a dissenting voice in the chamber.

In her written objection, Ms McNamara said: "I have no intention of vacating my premises/business to make way for this roadway.

"My livelihood is in jeopardy here. There are four people employed in this office currently. I will not be a position to guarantee my employees their jobs for the foreseeable future if these plans go ahead.

"The personal stress and anxiety this has caused my family and I and my staff members is unacceptable."

She said that instead of the new bridge, two houses on the corner should be delisted and demolished to make way for the road. However, the council has told objectors that even if it delisted these two buildings, "it is likely that the proposal would be open to court challenge".

In response to Ms McNamara's submission, the council said it has been determined that the planning application is the most appropriate solution to the issues at hand.

John and Sheena Clancy, who live in a second property listed for demolition, also opposed the plan, saying it would render them homeless. Their solicitors have branded the demolition a "most unfair and unwarranted attack on a family home".

Irish Independent

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