Kilkenny County Council has refused to guarantee any assistance in repairing the Graiguenamanagh boardwalk, which was heavily damaged in a storm last month.
During the high winds in July, a tree was uprooted and fell into the river, buckling a large segment of the boardwalk. The route, which is popular with local walkers and tourists alike – particularly during the summer months – has been rendered largely impassable and possibly unsafe as a result.
But a local area engineer was quick to rule out help with any repairs. The council says it advised the residents when they began the project that there was no financial or maintenance committment.
Fianna Fail county councillor Andrew McGuinness said his attention had been brought to the damage by a number of concerned locals. He contacted the area engineer to see if the situation could be rectified.
The response he received said that the repairs were a matter for the local community group, and not the council.
“The Silaire Wood Project was developed and is owned by the local community,” said the reply email.
“The project was developed by the local community group with funding from Leader. Kilkenny County Council have no responsibility or function in the maintenance and upkeep of the walkway.”
However, Cllr McGuinness has since spoken to an engineer who has committed to looking at the damage and giving a cost assessment. It has been indicated that if this figure is ‘within reason’, then Kilkenny County Council may repair it.
“The local community have done a fantastic job in providing the facility and building it themselves,” said Cllr McGuinness.
That’s good community spirit in action. The damage is unfortunate and I believe that the Local Authority should do their best to rectify it. I’m calling on Kilkenny County Council to repair the board walk as a matter of urgency.”