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Union Hall residents voice safety fears over Keelbeg Pier barrier

August 1st, 2020 7:05 AM

By Brian Moore

Residents say the barrier will create an ongoing safety issues and that the Council is ‘not listening to us’.

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‘ALL we want is for the Council to listen to us so that our children can safely cross the road.’

This is the plea from one local resident to Cork County Council ahead of the proposed work at Keelbeg Pier in Union Hall.

Mother-of-three Ríona Casey told The Southern Star about the frustration and concern of local residents over plans to install a barrier on Keelbeg Pier and to redirect traffic down a residential cul-de-sac.

‘The changes to the car park and the pier will redirect traffic in both directions up a cul-de-sac where homes open on to the road,’ Ríona said.

‘This is a serious health and safety concern for the families, and especially the children who live in this area.

‘We had a meeting with representatives from Cork County Council on July 3rd where an alternative was laid out, but this has since been abandoned and the original plans are now back in place.’

Local TD Christopher O’Sullivan (FF) has joined the residents in calling for a halt to any work at Keelbeg Pier and for local safety concerns to be addressed before work continues.

‘It’s ridiculous residents have not been consulted, yet the Council is shoe-horning a barrier onto the entrance of Keelbeg Pier in Union Hall,’ he told The Southern Star.

Deputy O’Sullivan said the barrier is going to limit access to leisure users, in particular the Myross Rowing Club, as well as other members of the public who would use the slipway for access.

‘The main concern is for residents in the nearby area. The entrance would have been used as access to the nearby small beach, but the proposed barrier will instead cause traffic to be funnelled along a busy residential area.’

However, it is understood that the Council plans to ensure there is a separation of the commercial and leisure activities on the pier because of health and safety concerns.

‘Alternatives have been put to the Council in consultation with stakeholders, but these alternatives have been rejected,’ Deputy O’Sullivan said.

‘I am pleading with the Council to pause their works until a way forward can be agreed with residents, who have serious concerns about this from a health and safety point of view.’

Ríona added: ‘We are worried about our children and their health and safety. The County Council is not listening to us.

‘We just want consultation and dialogue so that we can solve this for the community here in Union Hall.’

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