Residents end protest at path repair pull-out

by Gazette Reporter
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IRATE residents in Nutgrove Avenue recently ended a JCB blockade protest following a stand-off between them and contractors for Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council after they pulled out of works started on footpaths in the cul-de-sac due to lack of funds.
Raymond O’Kelly, chairman of Nutgrove Residents’ Committee, told The Gazette about the recent trouble in his estate.
“We were told the council would fix the footpaths in the cul-de-sac over a three-week period and we were thrilled because we’ve been looking for these works to be done for 15 years. The contractor came in and work was going fine as they knocked down the paths. I asked them could they do one side of the road first and then the other because there are quite a few people with special needs living there. They said that was no problem and everything was okay until I got a phone call saying the contractor was pulling out as the council was short of money. I thought it was a wind-up.
“I rang the council’s executive engineer, Ciaran Deignan, to tell him we wanted answers and for the council to sit down with us and explain what went wrong. This didn’t happen so we blocked the diggers with a van. Then Deignan rang me saying he’d send the police around if we didn’t lift the blockade. I said all we wanted was answers to which he said he didn’t have time to speak to me.”

Following this conversation, gardai arrived in Nutgrove Avenue.
“The police came and told us we had to move the van as it was causing an obstruction. I told them the neighbours had no problem with the van being there and told the gardai they were being used as pawns by the council and that if they made us move the van, the people would stand in front of the diggers,” said O’Kelly.
Matters have been resolved, for the time being, after council official Larry Carey, (executive Technician at council) met residents and explained what had caused the work to stop.
“He was a gentleman and secured a commitment for us that our footpaths would be finished when the first roadworks begin in January,” said O’Kelly.
A spokesperson from the council said: “Due to a review of the minor works programme, the work on the footpaths on Nutgrove Avenue had to cease as funds were not available to complete the project at this time. The works will be resumed when funding and resources are made available in 2014.”

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