Calls for bridges to be lit up full-time in Kilkenny

Protecting endangered species of bats that live underneath some bridges could be a problem...

Darren Hassett

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Darren Hassett

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darren.hassett@kilkennypeople.ie

Inistioge

The unique bridge in Inistioge was lit up gold recently

Councillors have proposed lighting up bridges in Kilkenny after the famous ten-arch bridge in Inistioge was lit up gold at the end of last month.

The initiative in Inistioge was all part of the ‘Light It Up Gold’ campaign, which has seen other famous buildings and landmarks lit up, for child cancer awareness.

According to Cllr David Kennedy, some residents have been asking him about the possibility of “putting lighting on the bridge full-time”.

Speaking at a meeting of Kilkenny City Municipal District last Friday, Cllr Kennedy said: “The lights would not be on top but would shine up on to the bridge. It is absolutely fabulous lit up.”

Inistioge’s bridge, dating to the 18th Century, is the only one of its kind still standing in Europe.

Senior engineer at Kilkenny County Council, Shane Aylward, says the local authority will look at the installation of the lights and any issues that might arise.

Cllr Malcolm Noonan said any lighting schemes have to take into account the potential impact on species of animals that the lighting might affect.

Speaking after the meeting, Mayor of Kilkenny City, Michael Doyle, said endangered bats have come up as a potential problem in the past when discussions were taking place before about lighting up bridges in Kilkenny.

He said: “By all accounts a previous study was carried out in relation to lighting up the bridge in Inistioge on a full-time basis, protecting endangered species bats that live underneath the bridge was the reason it didn’t get the go ahead.

“I would be in favour of another survey to confirm the presence of bats and maybe proceed from their.”

Mayor Doyle added: “It would be absolutely brilliant if we could get agreement to light the bridge up on a permanent basis.”

Meanwhile Cllr David Fitzgerald highlighted that there is no lighting on Bennett’s Bridge and called for the restoration of Green’s Bridge at the MD meeting last Friday.

He said the advantage of the Central Access Scheme is Kilkenny City has a viewing point for Green’s Bridge.

Mr Aylward said Bennettsbridge and Inistioge will be looked into and Green’s Bridge is still on the agenda for restoration, he told members present at the meeting.