Residents living in the vicinity of Beechfield Junction in Fermoy say they will continue their fight to have bollards reinstalled to block a laneway leading from the junction to St Joseph’s National School in the interest of health and safety.

Cork County Council officials confirmed last week that the laneway would remain open to traffic and would be monitored over the coming months.

In his report on Beechfield Junction, council engineer Brendan O’Gorman said the council had not observed one conflict issue at the junction as a result of the removal of the bollards. In a rebuttal this week, Assumpta Murphy, who organised a petition against the removal of the bollards signed by over 400 people, said there’s a health and safety risk along the laneway every day of the week.

“The council say the situation should be kept on the agenda and carefully monitored. It’s being monitored by the residents and the people involved in the petition since before Christmas. We’re monitoring it on a daily basis. Some of the councillors aren’t even living in Fermoy so it would be extremely difficult for them to monitor it as closely as we are doing,” she told The Avondhu.

‘There’s a health and safety risk there every day of the week’

Ms Murphy highlighted one instance recently where she said a truck was parked on the laneway as schoolchildren were walking to school. “There’s a health and safety risk there every day of the week. Our fight will go on to get those bollards reinstated for the absolute safety of schoolchildren.”

She expressed her disappointment that the Bus Éireann bus stop was relocated, but that the space afforded to customers using the nearby Spar at the old bus stop is sufficient and that the laneway should be closed off.

Ms Murphy said that the residents’ opposed to the removal of the bollards are unaware of any risk assessment carried out prior to their removal, and called for the bollards to be immediately reinstated on these grounds. She added that photographs showing ‘misuse’ of the junction have been circulated to councillors and council officials. “If they can’t see, by looking at those photographs, that there is a huge risk and health and safety issue up there, I just don’t know! It’s very stressful up there,” Ms Murphy concluded.