By Martin Walsh
BUSINESSES in Courtmacsherry are bracing themselves for a drop in customers as work on the multi-million euro waste water treatment plant has this week resulted in restricted access to the village.
However, they all agree the work is vital for the future of the area, and that this is the best time to take the hit.
The Abbey Bridge in Timoleague closed this week until mid-March. This shuts off the coast road to Courtmacsherry with an official diversion via Barryroe, that involves all traffic going through Timoleague village and adds an extra 12 kilometres to the commute to and from Courtmacsherry.
In addition to the closure of Abbey Bridge, the section of road beneath Timoleague Abbey to the supermarket on the estuary side of Timoleague National School will also be closed to facilitate the works.
However, pedestrian access to the popular walkway between the two villages will remain open for the majority of the period.
Billy Adams of the Courtmacsherry Hotel said: ‘At the moment the plan is to stay open at weekends in line with previous years. Yes, I am worried that we won’t get the people we would normally get because of that extra mileage. We will continue with it (staying open) this month and if it doesn’t pick up, we will close for February.’
He added: ‘In a few years time hopefully we will have a Blue Flag beach again and tourism should be well up.’
Alan Kiely of the Golden Pheasant coffee and craft shop said: ‘I wouldn’t be massively confident of people coming to Courtmacsherry. Visitors might come once – it’s an extra 10 or 15minutes on the journey for everybody. I think it will be fairly catastrophic for the next few months and we won’t be taking on anybody now until March. Generally, I would think that the hours we have for staff will be short.’
David O’Halloran of the Lifeboat Inn added: ‘It will definitely affect business, people don’t like to take detours. But it’s 11 weeks, it is the right time of year to do it and it needs to be done. I hope the work will be done in less time, as the longer the road is closed we are losing money.’
The works include a new rising main from Timoleague pump station and an upgrade of the existing water main to be laid beneath the footpath on Abbey Bridge and a combined sewer overflow connection from the existing outfall.
• See page 5 for the story of a video that Timoleague students made on the scheme.