New turn in 40-year Limerick footpath campaign

The dangerous stretch of road between Rich Hill Woods and Grangewood Estates in Lisnagry.

PROVIDING a footpath to allow school children and residents walk safely between two estates in Lisnagry will mean removing a wall that is a protected structure and will cost €600,000, locals have been told.

But Green Party representatives have learned that the safety issue – which has been the subject of a 40-year campaign by residents of Rich Hill Woods and Grangewood estates in Lisnagry – could be tackled under the Active Travel initiative.

Residents representative James Ryan, whose son was hit by a car and suffered a broken shoulder while walking on the Newport Road between the two estates, said residents of both estates want the footpath provided before someone is killed.

“We’ve been fighting for this for 40 years. There are 80 children who have to walk on the side of the road to get the school bus as there is a steep embankment and no place for pedestrians to go,” James told the Limerick Post.

The residents have been in contact with local representatives, including Cllr Sean Hartigan (GP) and Green Party TD Brian Leddin, who have established that one of the hold-ups in getting the work done is that it would require work on the perimeter stone wall of Rich Hill House, which is a protected structure.

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Cllr Hartigan wrote to Mr Ryan this week stating that he had met with a Council engineer who said that “retaining the existing wall is not an option it will need to be knocked and moved back”.

He was informed that this would cost “€600,000 plus”, adding that “due to costs, it would have to be done as an Active Travel project”.

Cllr Hartigan said the engineer has “committed to preparing a report for Active Travel, asking for it to be progressed”.

“Brian Leddin and I are fully supportive of the project and will continue to push have it progressed with Active Travel.

“It may not have go for planning if it doesn’t interfere with the current width of the road. We are very hopeful that it will be approved for funding in 2024,” he concluded.