– Council unaware of landowners adjacent to dangerous Rathealy Road footpath –

Temporary efforts to make the footpath along the Rathealy Road in Fermoy safer for members of the public have been welcomed, though calls persist for a compulsory purchase order to be secured on the adjacent property so that the wall encroaching on the footpath can be moved back.

A contractor, appointed by Cork County Council, cut back the encroaching hedge along the outside of the footpath in recent days.

At this month’s meeting of Fermoy Municipal Authority, Cllr Noel McCarthy brought a motion requesting temporary works to be carried out to make the narrow footpath more accessible until permanent works are undertaken.

Cork County Council has had difficulty in resolving the issue of the narrow footpath, caused by the encroaching boundary wall of a property, as it is unaware of who the landowners are.

“You have members of the public using that walkway, especially in the fine weather now, a lot of people working in SCI would walk to work and walk home from work,” Cllr McCarthy said. “People take their dogs for a walk in the area, I met one man who said it’s too dangerous to walk out that road with his dog anymore.

“I know it’s private property, we can’t do anything about it, we can only do a bit of cutting on the outside of the path, but I feel now that we need to do more, we need to identify the owner. If we don’t identify the owner we need to get a compulsory order here because at the moment, you might as well close up the path, it’s so dangerous.”

In support of the motion, Cllr Frank O’Flynn agreed that the footpath is ‘exceptionally narrow’ and said it’s ‘nearly safer to walk on the road than the path’. Senior engineer Brendan O’Gorman said the council has been cutting back the hedge during the growth season as a temporary measure. He said the council believe there are new owners of the property and they will continue to work on identifying the owners.