Monday 22 April 2019

Anger as road to close for up to two years over ruin

David Looby

Residents in a rural south west Wexford community are up in arms after a decision was made to close their road to traffic because of a dangerous castle ruin located beside it.

The news was broken by Fr Jim Devereux at Terrerath church on Sunday morning that the road is closed from this Wednesday morning for up to two years.

The Norman castle which stands on privately owned land has been in danger of collapsing onto the road for years, according to Fine Gael councillor Willie Fitzharris.

Cllr Fitzharris said: ‘It’s a dangerous position. Wexford County Council has been working with the landowner but they are at an impasse.’

A survey was carried out on the castle by Wexford County Council and it was deemed to be a dangerous structure.

Describing the decision to close the road as ‘drastic’, Cllr Fitzharris said: ‘The castle has been deemed to be at risk of collapsing. To close the road for up to two years is nothing short of drastic. It’s a road which people use to get to the John F Kennedy Arboretum so people will be directed to take a different route. There is going to be uproar over this!’

He said Terrerath community centre may be affected also.

‘It will have a big impact on the locals. The problem is the danger is on the roadside if it collapses. I’m sure vibrations from heavy goods vehicles has had an effect on the structure also.’

He said negotiations have been ongoing with the council and the landowner.

‘Wexford County Council has no other choice (but to close the road). It’s a huge inconvenience. It’s by the cemetery. We will be working hard to minimise this and this needs to be resolved at an early stage. Funding will have to be pumped into this. When the road is closed maybe it will put pressure on the powers that be to repair it. Obviously the castle is on privately owned land and the powers that be are restricted on what can be done with it. Grant funding will be required.’

He said a similar castle on the ring road in New Ross collapsed several years ago, but there was not the same level of danger to the public, calling for urgent action to resolve the issue for local residents.

New Ross Standard