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Kealkil residents may be cut off as road erodes

March 22nd, 2019 7:15 AM

By Jackie Keogh

An image from a video showing the road having collapsed into the river below.

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Residents at the end of a private road in Kealkil are in danger of being stranded because the carriageway leading to their home is eroding at an alarming rate.

Photographs showing how the side of the road at Kilnaknappogue has given way to a sheer drop into a fast-flowing river were produced at a recent meeting of the West Cork Municipal District.

Cllr Mary Hegarty (FG) suggested that emergency funding should be found from somewhere for repairs. 

According to Cllr Hegarty, some of the residents living in the area are getting older and they are worried about the condition of the road.

She said she called there last year and on her recent return ‘could not believe how much it has deteriorated in six months.’

Such is the extent of the road collapse that at its widest it is only 7ft across, said Cllr Hegarty, who expressed her fears that it could not be used by an ambulance or other emergency services.

‘Clearly, it can’t take a lot of weight,’ she said. ‘I understand it is a private road and not the responsibility of the Council but there must be someone who can help.’

In addition to the two families living on the private road, Cllr Danny Collins (Ind) said it is used by local schools who access the river for different projects, as well as those with an interest in the local famine graveyard.

Area engineer, Ruth O’Brien, said one of the homeowners agreed to submit an application under the local improvement scheme (LIS) fund.

However, she said there are 17 applications ahead of his and, this year, the (LIS) has been capped at €1,200 per landowner.

The engineer agreed that the condition of the road has continued to deteriorate and the river has undermined the private road, resulting in erosion.

She said there are two possible solutions, including the use of rock armour or a retaining wall but this would be expensive and require permission from both the Inland Fisheries and the Office of Public Works.

Alternatively, she said, the line of the road could be moved by constructing a new road through a field to the east of the existing road, but this, too, would be costly.

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