CORK County Council is determined to enforce the banning of sandwich boards in Kinsale, according to Brendan Fehily, council executive engineer for Kinsale.
The contentious issue was one of the main discussions at last Friday’s meeting of Bandon Kinsale Municipal District, which turned out to be a highly charged discussion on the proposed ban.
Mr Fehily said the letters went out and ‘no one died’ and he defended the decision of Cork County Council to send out letters to businesses in Kinsale banning sandwich boards on the streets of the town.
‘The letter has gone out for a reason, and it sets out factually why the sandwich boards are prohibited. It’s just a small group of people ranting and talking tripe,’ said Mr Fehily.
‘I put my hand up to represent those people who don’t have a voice in Kinsale, like the visually impaired and people with buggies,’ he added.
Newly elected chairperson of Bandon Kinsale Municipal District, Cllr Kevin Murphy (FG) said there had been mayhem over the last week over the letters sent out to businesses and he called for the postponement of the ban until at least the tourist season is over.
Council official Mac Dara O’hIci said that the Council could not turn a blind eye to legislation that is already in place, but Cllr Alan Coleman (Ind) said he wasn’t happy with the way the Council handled it.
‘There is a procedure as we had a loose arrangement until now, but any changing of an old system to a new system means there should be a reprieve until such time as it can be regulated,’ said Cllr Coleman. ‘People expect to see tables and chairs as well as sandwich boards in a tourist town like Kinsale, and we certainly need a transition period.’
However, Brendan Fehily pointed out that there has been a transition period already.
‘The current Development Plan already shows that it’s been there since 2009 and businesses cannot make an application for sandwich boards. We have no issue with licensed chairs and tables outside premises, and these laws are to protect the heritage and beauty of the town,’ said Mr Fehily.
Mr Fehily also said the Council had a lot of issues with items being put onto the footpaths.
‘No means no, and we are the authority who look after the people. As the summer builds up, the signs become more prolific and it has to be controlled,’ he said.
Meanwhile, local businessman Jerome Lordan said he was leaving his signs up, as did walking tour guide Dermot Ryan.
There was a huge backlash last week when the Council sent out the letters to local businesses giving them just days to stop using the boards.