A COUNCILLOR has said he is ready to lead a protest that will block the main city route leading to the Apple Campus in Hollyhill after a row broke out over roadside bollards in Knocknaheeny.
The road from Kilmore Road to the Churchfield industrial estate is lined with concrete bollards which were installed to stop unofficial halting sites from being established but were only envisaged as a temporary measure. However, they have been in place for over a decade.
The bollards were recently likened to border control measures in the North during the Troubles and City Hall director of environmental services Valerie O’Sullivan has said it may cost as much as €112,000 to remove them.
Sinn Féin councillor Thomas Gould has warned residents have had enough and they believe the bollards are leading to a negative image of the area.
He added the decision may be made at a resident’s meeting next month to protest and block the road.
“These bollards are four foot high and four foot wide and disabled people and people with buggies can’t get past them. This is unacceptable. In Mahon, they have plinths, four or five inches high that prevent people from parking on curbs. They also have them in Moyross in Limerick and Ballymun in Dublin.
“I have a meeting next month with the residents and we will be closing down Kilmore Road on certain days. And when Apple can’t get their trucks up there, I’ll be standing there with the residents.
“I tried to do this by the book and do it right but nothing is being done. Enough is enough,” he added.
However, councillor Tony Fitzgerald, a resident of Knocknaheeny, said it is the negative publicity that is creating a bad image of the area, not the bollards.
“I agree with taking the bollards away but they are there for a reason. Mr Gould is making the issue about the area I come from and I live in and it brings the area down and there is no need for it. This has to stop. The area is doing very well.
“I’d like to know where exactly on the Kilmore Road this protest will be because it will affect all the local traders. Yes the bollards are not appropriate and yes they should be removed but I have been told by the director of housing that we may come up with a solution down the road,” Mr Fitzgerald added.
Ms O’Sullivan has admitted the bollards are an eyesore but their removal must not lead to problems for residents.
“They should be removed but in such a way that the problem they were put there for in the first place is not repeated. I am in contact with the director of housing and we are in the process of discussing removing them properly and correctly in the best interests of the community.”