Fermoy Municipal Authority is being urged to address a serious health and safety issue on the Rathealy Road in Fermoy, where pedestrians are met with a dangerous narrowing footpath as they walk from the town to the Sanmina plant and the Fermoy Adult Education Centre.

The narrow width of the footpath in question along the R666 is exacerbated by dense shrubbery protruding from private property inside a boundary wall.

At sections there is barely space for one person on the footpath, meaning pedestrians are often forced to walk onto the busy R666 and causing particular bother for cyclists and those pushing prams or with small children.

Numerous attempts by the council to resolve the issue with the landowner have come to nought in recent years.

Cllr Noel McCarthy said he has been contacted by numerous businesses and individuals in the town regarding the dangerous footpath in recent weeks, with the issue likely to become more pronounced during the warmer weather in the summer months bringing more people out walking on the roads.

He said a compulsory purchase (CPO) may be required to ensure the safety of pedestrians using the footpath in the long term.

“We’ve been trying, unsuccessfully, to resolve this issue for a number of years. Becasue the problem comes from a private property, we haven’t been able to bring about a long-term solution yet, but now is the time to find a solution once and for all.”

Cllr McCarthy said the temporary solution would be to have the shubbery on the outside of the wall removed first while renewed negotiations between the council and the property owner are needed.

He said a CPO may be required should these negotiations be unsuccessful.