Limerick council accused of 'contempt' over Northern Distributor Road

 Residents group claims Clare will be main beneficiary

Nick Rabbitts

Reporter:

Nick Rabbitts

Limerick council accused of 'contempt' over Northern Distributor Road

The Mountshannon Road near Annacotty has been hit with flooding on several occasions

RESIDENTS opposed to the €150m Northern Distributor Road have accused Limerick City and County Council of “contempt” after the authority brought fresh plans.

As exclusively revealed by the Limerick Leader in January, Limerick City and County Council has brought forward fresh plans for the road, which will link the Mountshannon Road, Lisnagry, and the Dublin Road.

The original plans, which were rejected decisively by councillors back in 2015, would have seen the road cross the Shannon from the city’s northside before continuing to the Cappamore Junction and the Dublin Road.

The revised proposals, however, will show the road broadly taking the same route, but with a new roundabout built to link the old Dublin/Castleconnell Road.

A second roundabout would also be included near the Daughters of Charity in Lisnagry, which will link to the Dublin Road, which connects Annacotty, and Castletroy.

It’s understood an overpass would be built over the Mountshannon Road.

Ultimately, the new plans show, the road will link to the M7.

However, in a hard hitting statement, the East Limerick Action Group which counts residents of Mountshannon Road among its members, has predicted there is “no chance this reckless and counterproductive proposal will ever go ahead”.

“But it’s still astonishing to see Limerick Council back again with a proposal which will greatly increase the probability of massive and regular flooding of large areas around Annacotty, Castleconnell and the Mountshannon Road, as well as destroying a special area of conservation,” the residents’ statement said.

For its part, a council spokesperson said they are “satisfied” the proposed Northern Distributor Road “will not increase the risk of flooding or worsen existing flooding in the areas impacted by the road.”

They pledged to work with the Office of Public Works to improve flood defence infrastructure along the corridor.

Valerie Foley, who chairs the East Limerick Action Group set up in opposition to these proposals, claimed that the proposals will see the Treaty County lose out to the Banner, as it will enable development on the Clare side of the University of Limerick's campus.

“The main beneficiaries of this proposal will be Clare and the University of Limerick – who want to jointly construct facilities on the Clare side of the campus. So we in Limerick will take the pain, while Clare County Council – which has fought every proposed boundary extension ‘tooth and nail’ – will take the gain,” Ms Foley claimed.

Ms Foley added she believes the councillors’ vote to reject the original route has been ignored – but predicted when the fresh plans come for discussion in May, they will also be vetoed.

A council spokesperson added the proposed road is “a key infrastructural requirement to facilitate the future development needs of Limerick and its environs and to accommodate strategic connectivity and access in a regional context.”