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Council orders Irish Rail to remove controversial fencing in Tuam

Wednesday, 29th May, 2019 10:11am

Story by Jacqueline Hogge
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Council orders Irish Rail to remove controversial fencing in Tuam

The controversial fencing at the disused rail track in Tuam

Council orders Irish Rail to remove controversial fencing in Tuam

The controversial fencing at the disused rail track in Tuam

CONTROVERSIAL fencing erected at one of Tuam’s two town centre railway crossings are in breach of planning and have been ordered to be taken down.

Two fences were installed on either side of the road at the Abbey Trinity crossing by contractors working on behalf of Irish Rail last October. However, following a complaint by a member of the public, an enforcement notice has been issued by Galway County Council instructing Irish Rail’s planning manager to remove the palisade fencing by June 16. The notice warns that if the structures are not removed within the timeline specified the council may remove the fencing, and recoup any expenses incurred from Irish Rail.

At the time they were installed, Irish Rail’s Communications Manager Barry Kenny insisted that the new fencing was constructed on health and safety grounds to secure the disused rail track.

Members of the Quiet Man Greenway campaign group questioned the planning status of the structures, which are almost nine feet high, and an investigation into the development was launched by council officials.

Speaking to The Tuam Herald on Tuesday, Junior Minister Ciaran Cannon said he would contact Irish Rail to seek their compliance with the enforcement notice. “This fencing should never have been erected in the first place,” he said.

“It’s ugly, it’s completely unsuitable for the location in question and it really undermined the great work done by Tuam Tidy Towns in cleaning up a large section of the old railway at this location.

"Those of us involved in the Quiet Man Greenway campaign made these points fairly forcibly to the council and questioned whether the fencing was even legal. It’s encouraging to see that they have acted accordingly in confirming that the fencing is indeed illegal and needs to be removed without delay.”

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