Rathfarnham locals at boiling point over road closure

by Rebecca Ryan
Section of the Edmondstown road where damage was caused by illegal development and has caused much difficulty for the community

Locals have reached boiling point over the road closure on Edmondstown Road in Rathfarnham.

The road has been closed since November 2017 after illegal excavation works on lands bordering the road caused the partial collapse of the road.

The closure has forced motorists to take a detour of more than 5km.

A community committee, involving more than 30 businesses including the Merry Ploughboy and Johnnie Fox’s pubs, The Hazel House, schools and resident’s associations, are calling on the council for immediate action to reopen the road.

Local TD John Lahart (FF) has urged the council to urgently carry out the works necessary. The Deputy has been informed that the council has made the decision to injunct the third party that is responsible for the closure of the road.

Speaking after a recent public meeting, he said: “Edmondstown Rd is one of the principal tourism and business gateways to the Dublin Mountains, as well as a primary residential transport artery.

“The road has remained closed since excavation works were carried out. As a precaution, the council closed the road to traffic but have not made any effort to reopen it since.

“The council’s decision to now commence legal proceedings will mean that the road will likely remain closed indefinitely.”

Donal Cawley of the Merry Ploughboy Pub told Dublin Gazette the road closure is having a detrimental impact on his business.

“We’ve developed a product into one of Ireland’s leading tourist attractions and we’re totally handicapped by the inaction by the council. The amount of businesses and services that are affected by it is huge.”

He said that there is a lot of anger and frustration among the locals, and the community feels “abandoned by the council in their handling of the matter.”

One local told us the closure is having a negative impact on surrounding areas as well.

“The road they are being redirected down is being somewhat abused – it’s akin to a country road, and people are racing down it at high speeds that I don’t feel safe walking this road anymore.”

Cllr Emma Murphy (FF) said the situation is a disgrace and “completely unacceptable” and is also calling for immediate action.

“Local business owners have been significantly impacted and patience locally is rightfully wearing thin.”

At a recent local meeting, locals gave their personal accounts of the damage the road closure is having on everyday quality of life.

A spokesperson for South Dublin County Council said: “The council understand the urgency of the works commencing and being completed in order that the road can reopen.

“The council have sought a date of commencement of the remedial works.”

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