SOUTH Dublin County Council have ordered the temporary, emergency closure of part of the Edmondstown Road to facilitate immediate remedial works on the road.
The need for these works was caused by illegal excavation and development work along the Owendoher river, which has weakened the structure of the road.
The road is closed for 300 meters, between the Merry Ploughboy Pub and Tibradden Road.
Local access has been maintained for those living in the area, however many diversions are in place, adding a 5km detour to any journey.
Several local businesses are affected by the road closure, including the well-known Merry Ploughboy pub, a traditional Irish venue.
The Edmondstown Road closes 150 meters past the pub, but the effects of the closure are still very clear.
“From a business point of view, we have seen a significant drop in custom from local people living up past the pub where the road is now closed, and from walkers, cyclists and people out for a drive in the mountains,” says Donal Cawley, co-owner of the Merry Ploughboy.
“The development that took place has been disastrous for the local community and the rural aspect of the area. People’s patience with the county council is at an end,” he said.
Cawley remarks that the local community remain frustrated with the road closure, and that locals had previously contacted the council with their concerns about the illegal development before the road was closed.
The work was carried out by one individual without planning permission, in lands that were zoned for agricultural use.
“People had warned the county council that the illegal work going on was damaging to the local environment and infrastructure.
“The council sent an engineer out to look at the work and [the engineer] reported that it was all ok. The road was then subsequently closed.”
A spokesperson for SDCC told Dublin Gazette that: “The works were unauthorised and the subject of enforcement proceedings”.
Niall Fitzharris of the Hazel House Cafe in Tibradden echos the statements made by Cawley.
“It really has impacted badly on our business. It is just very frustrating as to the damage that one careless man has created.
“So many people and businesses are affected. I do hope the council can just get this fixed as soon as possible.
“However, it’s great to see all our customers who make the extra bit of effort now to come and visit us,” he said.
The council have warned that the road may be closed for up to a year as the works continue.