RESIDENTS of Shannonvale – whose public park has been wrecked by an overflowing septic tank – have drawn up plans of a park they would like to have.
‘The plans are, as yet, purely aspirational but they were prepared as a way of inspiring people to think bigger,’ said Barry O’Mahony.
Prior to lockdown, he said the only venue for a public gathering was the village’s one and only local pub, Phair’s.
‘It served us well, but a pub should not be the sole solution to a community’s need for recreation,’ said Barry.
He said the community is unhappy on three counts: the sewage on the green; speeding through the village; and the lack of Council support for any of their projects or proposals.
‘Over the years, any time we tried to get permission for projects we were constantly knocked back,’ he said.
‘We have been told our plans are too ambitious and the excuse given is lack of funding, no matter how small the project is.’
For 25 years, he said they have been trying to get the overflow from the septic tank sorted, especially as it is flowing into the Argideen River, which supplies Clonakilty’s water supply.
The community is also concerned about speeding through the village.
‘During lockdown it is okay but when the Technology Park and the schools are fully reopened it will go back to being dangerous, especially for the younger and the older members of our community.
‘Children walking to meet the bus are taking their life in their hands because they are crossing the bridge – which is one of the narrowest parts of the road – yet carries the heaviest volume of traffic,’ added Barry.
And he added that the residents want the Council to engage in a meaningful way with their community and for Irish Water to rectify the problem with the septic tank.
‘What we would like is a public space that is accessible to everybody, something that would not only provide a recreational area for young people to engage in sport, but also a safe outdoor space for people of all ages.
‘The elderly members of our community would appreciate a space where they could safely meet and socialise.
‘We would like to see the reinstatement of the picnic and barbeque areas, a playing field for sports, as well as an all-weather sports surface, and a space where we can gather.’
Cllr Paul Hayes (Ind) raised the matter at a recent meeting of the Western Committee saying: ‘This project needs to be on Irish Water’s expenditure programme.’
He told Council officials: ‘The community has great plans for their community park in Shannonvale.’
He also made the point: ‘The environment report at this meeting offers feedback on water quality testing throughout our area, yet we are turning a blind eye to a problem in Shannonvale.
‘There has been a problem there for a quarter of a century, which also has serious implications for the Clonakilty’s drinking water because raw sewage is flowing into the Argideen River at Shannonvale.’
Ted O’Leary of the Council’s environment department said he would raise the issue with Irish Water