PARTEEN residents fearful that their community will be “split in two” by the Limerick northern distributor road are to stage a protest in the village on Saturday.
Around 200 people attended a meeting in Parteen last week and they have had at least one result with Clare County Council agreeing to push back the deadline for submissions from February 16 to March 12.
According to the emerging preferred route unveiled last month, the proposed 10km road will link up with the first phase of the scheme at Knockalisheen before winding through Parteen and Clonlara, crossing the Tail Race, the Blackwater and the Shannon before joining the old Dublin Road northeast of Annacotty.
But the route published will leave the Firhill estate and other properties in Parteen cut off from the rest of the village. Meanwhile, residents in Clonlara have also warned the scheme could exacerbate flooding problems.
Speaking after the meeting, Edward English, Environmental Community of Parteen, said: “dismay and disbelief was expressed by many residents that the route chosen would cut through the village of Parteen, dividing the community in two and further on down towards Clonlara will cross a flood-plain which has flooded very seriously on a number of occasions in the last few years.”
There were a number of politicians present - including TDs Willie O’Dea, Kieran O’Donnell and Michael McNamara - who Mr English now expects will raise residents concerns with the Minister for Transport.
According to Mr English, some of the politicians felt the “requirement for this road which is flimsy at best given the underperformance of the Limerick Tunnel which is already being subsidised by the taxpayer”.
“A number of residents came forward to work on a steering group and will organise formally in the next few days and publish an action plan.”
A protest march will begin at 10am this Saturday, February 11, in Parteen village.
Senior engineer with Clare County Council Tom Tiernan, meanwhile, confirmed the later deadline for submissions on March 12.
“Information on the emerging preferred route corridor for phase two will remain on display in the Westbury Area Office, Aras Contae an Chláir (County Hall, Ennis), Limerick City Hall, Limerick County Hall and Limerick County Council’s area office in Annacotty,” he said.
All views would be considered before the project moves to the design stage, publication of an environmental impact statement and compulsory purchase order.
The ultimate decision rests with An Bord Pleanala, which has already approved the first phase from Coonagh to Knockalisheen.