New road to go beside park

Cllr John Joe Culloty: proposed motion
Cllr John Joe Culloty: proposed motion

PLANS for the building of a new roadway through a relatively remote area alongside Killarney National Park have been given the green light.

Despite protests from environmentalists, Killarney municipal area councillors have voted unanimously in favour of the National Parks and Wildlife Service proposal for a new one-kilometer paved road in the Tomies, Beaufort area.

The Friends of the Irish Environment group had objected to the proposal because the roadway is located in a sensitive nature conservation site, designated prime special amenity.

With Mayor John Joe Culloty proposing and Cllr Michael Gleeson seconding the material contravention, councillors voted in favour of changing the county development plan to allow road access to the Tomies Wood area, although an appeal is now expected to be lodged with An Bord Pleanála.

There are plans in Killarney to provide a new looped walkway which would attract hundreds of visitors – both local and international – to the town every year.

The planned development would open up dramatic views of Killarney’s Lakes which have been hidden from the public for decades because of a major rhododendron overgrowth.

The new roadway will allow access to woodlands and the breathtaking O’Sullivan’s Cascade at Tomies Wood, on the western edge of Lough Lein, which is frequented by walkers and wildlife.