Nicker's in a twist over footpath in the Limerick village

Local residents unhappy about works to construct footpath

Donal O'Regan

Reporter:

Donal O'Regan

Nicker's in a twist over footpath in the Limerick village

Nicker: Residents show their feelings with this sign and below, protesting

A NUMBER of residents in Nicker have vowed to picket and stop any works to construct a footpath outside the village.

Up to 10 wooden posts with placards have been erected on the side of a road in the normally sleepy village in east Limerick.

The signs read “dispute on here” and “in the interest of children’s safety residents object to a footpath at this side of the road”.

They argue the pathway should be on the other side of the thoroughfare, located on a steep hill and bend to Nicker National School.

Billy Harty, one of those opposed to the plan, said it doesn’t make sense to put the footpath on the side of the road where there are no houses.

“All the homes are located on the other side. We want the footpath to continue down from where it ends. Bring it all the way down and put a pedestrian crossing at Nicker National School so they can cross there safely. What is the point in kids having to cross the road to get on the footpath?” said Billy, who has three children aged fifteen, three and two.

“It’s also for the safety for the children coming down from Nicker village so the parents can feel some bit safe for their children walking to school,” he added.

Billy said a brother of his and a nephew were knocked down by cars on that stretch.

“Is it going to take a child running across the road to be hit and killed? Kids don’t see any danger. Cars come flying down that hill,” said Billy.

A Facebook page called Nicker residents object to footpath location has been set up. It reads: “Garranemore residents are outraged. Their cause is simple – move the footpath to the residential side of the road, making it easier for the residents and their children to walk safely to school.”

The posts and placards went up two weeks ago when they learned, through a third party, that the footpath was not going on the side of road they originally thought it was.

“Nobody from the county council has spoken to us or asked us and we’re the ones living here. There won’t be any work done on the footpath if it goes that side. We will picket it and stop all works.

“We are furious. Why didn’t the county council come to us - the residents that live on the road. They can give the money allocated to another parish if it isn’t enough to do the footpath on our side.

“People could say I want it on my side but there are no houses on the other side. As well as the footpath there should be lights and ramps to slow the traffic near the school. If you’re going to do a job, do it right,” said Billy.

Tracy Quinlivan, who has two daughters aged nine and six, said she was knocked down when she was a girl.

“I still have the scar on my forehead. It’s a miracle somebody hasn’t been killed it’s so dangerous. It is ridiculous what they want to do. A footpath there would actually push cars further over, nearer to our houses, and they are already close to the road. It is ridiculous – plain and simple. Children will be killed stone dead,” said Tracy.

Another local to lend his support to the campaign is one of the oldest men in the village – 89-year-old Liam Ryan.

“When I was a boy I can remember walking up to Mass and there was a footpath on the side that we want the new one put down. You could walk all the way up to the church and there wasn’t even many cars in those days. Over time it just wore away and it wasn’t replaced,” said Liam. 

Deputy Niall Collins and Cllr Eddie Ryan have visited Billy Harty and fellow angry residents in Nicker.

“I want to bring a deputation to a meeting of the Cappamore-Kilmallock municipal district. We want to put our point across the table to them. We want the footpath put back where it originally was and not see a child being killed,” said Billy.

The Limerick Leader sent a media query to Limerick City and County Council but nobody was available for comment at the time of going to press.