Court battle over Greenway works

Sinead Kelleher

Landowners are blocking Kerry County Council (KCC) from carrying out investigation works along the proposed South Kerry Greenway, a court heard this week.

KCC's civil action is being taken while An Bord Pleanála considers whether or not to grant planning for the controversial project that has been several years in the making.

The council's legal team was before Killarney District Court on Monday, seeking a warrant to enter four separate sections of lands to carry out soil and drainage tests for the project.

Kerry County Council engineer, Conor Culloo, told the court that at the works are "not essential but desirable".

Four landowners are involved - James Sheehan, Curra, Glenbeigh; James Dominic Michael Moriarty, Drom West; Glenbeigh, Patrick Murphy, Gornagree, Kells and Paul O'Shea also of Gornagree, Kells.

All have refused access to Kerry County Council, the court was told.

Mr Culloo described the works that are to be carried out on each of lands - much of these works involve the extraction of soil for the purpose of ground investigations and a drainage survey of the lands. The works could be carried out in one day but in some cases may take two days, the court heard.

Mr Culloo said that the tests are to gather information on the sub-surface and topograpical conditions. Judge David Waters said the case was before the court to decide what works are relevant and necessary.

It emerged during cross examination about plans to build an underpass on one of the lands that certain documents may not have been handed over by the local authority to the defence teams. The council argued that these had not been completed at that time.

The case has been adjourned to December to mention to set another date for hearing.