Minister of State John Paul Phelan and Cathaoirleach Eamon Aylward turn the sod on Monday for the Kilkenny Western Environs Phase 1 Infrastructure Scheme
The city’s western environs — including the Wetlands, Poulgour, and Drakelands Lower — has been christened with a new name as work gets under way to deliver the new neighbourhood there.
‘Breagagh Valley’ was the name put forward by Kilkenny County Council’s infrastructure naming committee, and it received the backing of local councillors at a council meeting yesterday (Monday). Director of services Tim Butler told the meeting that the area in the west would accommodate up to 3,500 houses, three schools and more, encompassing three distinct townlands.
Three other pieces of public infrastructure were also given names with the members’ support, despite the fact that two of them are not yet in existence.
The new road which runs through the former mart site from Wolfe Tone Street to the Castlecomer Road will be known as Old Mart Street. Kilkenny Co-Op has been consulted and indicated support for the name, suggested at a recent meeting by Cllr David Fitzgerald.
The new road due to be constructed between the Callan Road and Circular Road as part of the LIHAF scheme will be known as William Robertson Way. William Robertson (born in Kilkenny in 1770) was an architect who lived in the area near Rosehill , and was responsible for the appearance of many of Kilkenny’s notable buildings.
A seven-hectare park, proposed to be built as part of the new neighbourhood in the west, will be called Father Tommy Maher Park. Much of the land in the area was or still is owned by St Kieran’s College, and Fr Maher attended there and taught there, as well as having guided Kilkenny to seven All-Ireland wins.
It was the latter two names that raised the eyebrows of Cllr David Kennedy, who said while he had no issue with the choices, it was “a bit premature” to name the road and park at this stage.
“We are naming stuff before it’s even built,” he said. “I just find it a bit ridiculous.”
Cllr David Fitzgerald said it was “more than appropriate as infrastructure comes on stream” to attach a name. He said it was great to see other councillors happy to support the proposed names, and he was “delighted the ‘western environs’ names has now been ditched”.
Cllr Melissa O’ Neill asked whether the proposed names should have been the subject of public consultation. Director of services Tim Butler said that in the naming policy adopted by members, each name is not required to go to public consultation. It was felt a consultation was appropriate for naming the St Francis Bridge, but not in this case.