Tuesday 19 February 2019

Fermoy footpath repair works to finally start after four-year delay

Cork County Council has said works to repair the section of footpath in Fermoy will be completed by Christmas
Cork County Council has said works to repair the section of footpath in Fermoy will be completed by Christmas

Bill Browne

Work is finally set to commence on repairing a section of footpath on the N72 in Fermoy - four years after it was closed to the public.

The enforced closure of the footpath, which lies adjacent to the Town Park and opposite the local Church of Ireland, has long been a bone of contention with local county councillors who have repeatedly expressed their frustration at the long delay in repairing it. 

As far back as 2016, the then director of Cork County Council's roads serviced directorate, Tom Stritch, admitted the authority did not have the expertise to fix the path and the adjoining wall. He pledged to continue putting pressure on TII to undertake the works as the N72 is a national route and falls under their remit. 

Last June, Mr Stritch confirmed the tender for the project had finally been awarded and work would begin within a matter of weeks. 

The news was welcomed by councillors, albeit with a degree of scepticism by some including Cllr Noel McCarthy (FG) who said he would only believe work had started "when I see it with my own two eyes". 

Much to Cllr McCarthy's delight, Mr Stritch's successor, Aidan Weir, this week confirmed that repair works to the footpath would finally get underway next week. 

"It is anticipated that the works will take approximately 10 weeks to complete and it is expected the work will be completed and the footpath reopened before Christmas," he told Monday's northern area committee meeting. 

Cllr McCarthy said Mr Weir's comments could not have come at a better time, given the fact that Fermoy has topped the latest Irish Business Against Litter (IBAL) league table. 

"This is a great day all around for Fermoy. We have been arguing for this for years and I know locals will be delighted to see that it is finally being addressed. Given the length of time it has taken to get this far, I'm sure people will not worry about having to wait another 10 weeks," he said. 

"Cork County Council have to be complemented on keeping up the pressure on TII. This project, in tandem with resurfacing works on Patrick Street and Pearse Square, will further serve to enhance the appearance of the town," he added.