Former Mayor welcomes update on Foynes to Limerick rail line

Cllr Daniel Butler

FINE Gael councillor Daniel Butler welcomed an update on the Foynes to Limerick rail line after concerns were raised following works in the Dooradoyle area back in January.

Cllr Butler welcomed news that works will begin on this “vital and welcome” piece of infrastructure for Limerick. However, he called for better and more timely communication with residents directly impacted by the works to ensure that their security, safety, and privacy is protected.

“Earlier this year huge concerns and shock was experienced when trees and hedgerows were severely cut back as part of the reopening of the Foynes to Limerick rail line, impacting residents along the line especially in the Dooradoyle area.

“Many of the homes saw the complete removal of a natural hedge line that offered them security and privacy without any due notice,” he claimed.

Following this upheaval, residents along with Cllr Butler met with Irish Rail representatives who apologised for the lack of notice and the danger the works posed with debris flying into people’s back gardens.

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“The initial shock and the aggressive nature of the cutting of the trees and hedges was significant. The level to which they were cut was felt to be very excessive locally and I have to agree. We met with Irish Rail to discuss these issues and others. We received commitments that the line would be secured and a timeline of works communicated by the end of March. This did not happen,” the City West representative pointed out.

Within the last week, residents received an update, three months later than expected and still without the promised programme of works timeline.

“We have been updated that Sisk are now active on the line and it is under their management as a building site as such. They have installed signage and reinforced fences at entry points on the line in a number of areas. They also have a crew scheduled to install a number of security fences across the line to discourage people from walking along the tracks which I very much welcome,” the Raheen-based councillor commented.

Sisk also updated Cllr Butler and some residents that construction works are to get under way in the area in the coming weeks. At that point they will have workers on the line daily.

“I welcome the progress that works will begin on this vital and welcome piece of infrastructure for Limerick, but we really need to see better and more timely communication with residents directly impacted by the works to ensure that their security, safety, and privacy is protected.

“That is all that is being asked by residents along the line who understand the need for the line but at the same time expect Irish Rail to be good neighbours,” he concluded.

In response, a spokesman for Irish Rail confirmed that their Foynes project team have had a number of meetings with the residents of Glencairin / Ballycummin and public representatives regarding vegetation clearance, fencing, and trespass.

“We meet and correspond regularly with the public and representatives via our project email address. We have instructed our main contractor Sisk to undertake fencing repairs to curtail trespass, and we have erected ‘no trespass’ signage. Our project team and Sisk are monitoring the fencing repairs and undertaking further repairs where required,” the spokesman told the Limerick Post.

“The houses at Glencairin and Ballycummin have masonry block walls as the boundary between the houses and railway. We have committed to installing additional security fencing and vegetation at this location.

“Our Crime and Anti-social Prevention Officer has undertook a site visit at this location to advise on suitable security fencing and has been liaising with local senior Gardaí regarding trespass issues. It is important that any incidents of anti-social behaviour or trespass are reported to Gardaí as well as to Iarnród Éireann and Sisk.”