— Route part of cross-country Dublin to Galway Greenway.
— Privacy intrusion, fear of crime, ecologically concerns are core complaints.
— Politicians say local opposition is to one option, not concept of greenway.
Opposition is mounting to a lower-cost alternative to dealing with the Royal Canal Greenway at what is known as the “deep sinking” section of the canal around Dublin 15.
Fingal County Council are looking to progress the remaining section of the route in their area from the Co Kildare / Co Dublin boarder to Castleknock. The council is holding early public consultation which ends this Friday, March 22.
The “deep sinking” section of the canal has a narrow stony towpath on south bank, beside a sharp fall into the canal — installing a greenway path for walking and cycling would require major and expensive engineering works. A new plan has been developed to develop a new path to the north of the canal.
This would mean the greenway route would stay on the north side of the canal for longer and only cross to the south side using a new walking and cycling bridge west of Castleknock train station.
But many residents are objecting to this option with complaints about privacy intrusion the path coming too close to rear gardens of houses, fears of increased crime, and ecologically concerns.
On the north bank of the canal the council as outlined how there will a number of opportunities to link the greenway directly with residential areas — this too, however, is a bone of contention with some residents.
“Plans for Castleknock to Coolmine section are facing huge local opposition which we don’t believe reflect the general public view. Help make the greenway happen. Email email@example.com to make sure your view is heard. Don’t complain later when it’s not built!,” said the twitter account for royalcanalgreenway.ie — which was started to follow the progress of the overall project.
Joan Burton, Labour Party TD and former Tánaiste, said: “I hosted a packed public meeting, alongside my colleague John Walsh, on the proposed route of the Royal Canal Urban Greenway. Local residents made clear to us the fundamental problems they have with the proposed route. Going forward, we will be supporting their efforts to make their voices heard.”
Former co-opted councillor John Walsh (Labour Party) said: “I attended Fingal Council’s official consultation on the Royal Canal Urban Greenway today. The consultant’s proposed route for the Greenway is hugely disappointing – taking the north side of the Canal from Roselawn will destroy the wildlife corridor along this section of the Canal and impinge severely on local residents. A bad option which is all about minimising costs – this should be revisited as soon as possible.”
Cllr Natalie Treacy (Sinn Féin) said: “Just spent the last 2 hours with some lovely residents from Delwood, Brompton and Roselawn as they took me for a walk along the canal so they could show me their concerns about putting the Royal Canal Greenways on the North Bank right at the bottom of their back gardens.”
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Cllr Natalie said: “Not one of them are against the Royal Canal Greenways as a matter of fact they all welcome it and are in favour of it. However they do have a big problem with the footfall going along their back gardens.And the loss of privacy. Public consultations are open until 22nd March and I have encouraged them all to make submissions. I also have a meeting in the morning with planning to voice some of the residents concerns. So don’t forget folks use the consultation process. I look forward to helping and supporting the residents in any way I can!”
A meeting held by local Green Party councillor Roderic O’Gorman last week was described as “heated” and another attendee said that “we went to a meeting [about the greenway] yesterday and there was lots of objections from local residents and very few dissenting voices at the meeting”. Another meeting is planned by Solidarity TD for Dublin West in her constituency office at 7.30pm this Thursday.
Route option drawings:
CORRECTION: John Walsh was originally mentioned in this article as a councillor. He is in fact a local party representative. He was formally a councilor when he was co-opted ahead of the 2014 local elections.