Irish Rail on wrong track with Limerick councillors

Some of the clearance work along the Limerick/Foynes rail line. Photo: Brian Leddin/Twitter

SOCIAL Democrats councillor Elisa O’Donovan has hit out at what she described as “desperate communication” from Irish Rail with residents and local representatives as part of works to clear the railway line out to Foynes.

Labour councillor Joe Leddin had a motion on this Monday’s Metropolitan District meeting calling for the council engage with Irish Rail to ensure that appropriate and suitable infrastructure is installed adjacent to the railway lines currently being upgraded in Dooradoyle and Rosbrien to ensure the security and privacy of residents affected.

Following the commencement of works last January, councillors criticised the fact that residents in Dooradoyle have had their privacy and security stripped away as Irish Rail contractors tore away trees, hedges, and other vegetation away to clear the railway line to Foynes.

“This is causing considerable concern for residents who are living adjacent to the railway line because that shrubbery was offering some level of security and protection in the context of their own private homes,” Cllr Leddin said this week on the matter.

Cllr Leddin said that there had been “a number of discussions with Irish Rail in terms of the proposal at various different locations” as regards what could be installed, and that he was now “looking for some element of consistency” for measures being put in place for the security of residents’ property.

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Social Democrats councillor Elisa O’Donovan, who seconded Cllr Leddin’s motion, hit out that the big issue from day one was communication.

Cllr O’Donovan said that “no one is against the railway opening” and “most people when they bought their houses absolutely knew the railway was there and knew that it could reopen”.

“However, the communication between Irish Rail and the residents, and also us as councillors, has been absolutely shocking,” she told council members.

“A number of City West councillors would have been contacted by the residents association in the Rosbrien area. I contacted Irish Rail after this and they asked me what area was I talking about and what exactly was the issue,” the told the local authority meeting.

“I said, ‘well you already received communication from the residents association, so you know what area I am talking about and what the issue is’. I presume all seven councillors in City West are getting the same thing going to Irish Rail, there’s just absolutely desperate communication.”

In response to Cllr Leddin’s motion, John Gannon of the council’s Transportation and Mobility directorate assured councillors that the local authority will engage with Irish Rail advising them of the security and privacy concerns raised in Dooradoyle and Rosbrien.

“We will seek clarity regarding their proposals in this regard along the proposed railway line upgrade at residential locations,” he concluded.