BY JACKIE KEOGH
A LANDOWNER at Castlefreke has insisted a newly-erected gate does not block any right-of-way to Rathbarry Church, and only blocks access to his own property.
Yorick Evans-Freke said: ‘All listed paths to the church remain unblocked and untouched and should remain so.’
The erection of the large gate with sharp spikes on top was reported in last week’s Southern Star when an historian claimed it blocked ‘the mass path.’
However, Mr Evans Freke said the gate was put up in response to ‘numerous acts of vandalism, harassment and trespass upon private property,’ including the poisoning of an organic field by spraying non-organic weedkiller in the vicinity.
Mr Evans-Freke said these matters have been reported to the gardaí. The Southern Star contacted the gardaí and a spokesperson said they do not comment on individual cases.
Mr Evans-Freke said: ‘It is very unfortunate that those with grievances have chosen such a damaging and combative approach. We are always happy to discuss concerns and explain decisions with those who are interested, but will not respond or converse with those who choose violence and intimidation to express their concerns.’
He added: ‘Describing claims that the new gate – which replaced an existing gate – restricts access to the church is complete and utter nonsense and a quick visit to the church would confirm as much.’
He said there has always been a gate at a property boundary between two fields, but he said this is ‘all outside the church property and graveyard.’
Mr Evans-Freke said there is a right-of-way to the church but it is not on his family’s property and this right of way is shown on local area maps of the trails around Castlefreke.