Well, the Lord moves in mysterious ways, but even He was having trouble following the old Mass Path that cuts through Farrankelly.
After it first came to our attention last July that the centuries-old pedestrian dirt track leading from the Willow Grove to Kilcoole had suddenly been blocked by a steel-fenced storage depot and padlocked gates, we assumed that such a travesty couldn’t last long.
Well, it lasted another year in the end, with the good fight adding another few to its army when the newly-formed Kilcoole Walkwaysjoinedthe kicking and screaming in May.
And now, Wicklow County Council have stated that Enforcement Proceedings are to go ahead at the Kelly Drain Maintenance services site at Drummin Lane, calling on this local business – who, for some strange reason, have not renewed their Guide membership – to completely dismantle and remove the steel palisade and the two padlocked gates which have been blocking the Mass Path for the past 15 months.
Naturally, the small local committee who spearheaded the campaign to have the path saved are more than a tad delighted with today’s announcement. As Clive and Eithne Dalby from that committee point out in a statement today, there’s still work to be done though. And questions to be asked…
There have been numerous unauthorised developments going on at this site, including closure of the Mass Path, commercial use of an agricultural site, unauthorised building works and an extension onto the old farmhouse, the washing of toxic materials adjacent to the river, and a new truck access road opening directly onto the Farrankelly Road dual carriageway.
The current KDMS application for planning retention received 19 objections or submissions from the general public. These included ourselves, Delgany Community Council, Kilcoole residents, Drummin Lane residents, Kilquade and Priestnewtown residents, various walking and rambling clubs, Mountaineering Ireland, An Oige, Coucillor Derek Mitchell of Greystones, and individuals from the local area as well as further afield in Bray and Dublin who habitually walk the Mass Path route.
It beggars belief that a public representative would support Kelly Drain Maintenance Services in their ongoing planning application for retention. This whole issue and their support of the project was discussed at a recent meeting of Delgany Community Council.
You can read our original July 2015 report here, and the recent update in May 2017 here. Congrats to everyone involved. On top of the wonderful Carrig Eden news, this is turning out to be a week for the little guy slaying the monster…
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