Cork greenway controversy: Calls for An Garda Síochána to 'publicly dissociate itself' from submission to consultation process 

Cork greenway controversy: Calls for An Garda Síochána to 'publicly dissociate itself' from submission to consultation process 

Last week, elected members of Cork City Council were briefed on the Emerging Preferred Route (EPR) for the Passage Railway Greenway Phase 2.

The Rochestown Area Residents and Business Association have called upon An Garda Síochána to “publicly dissociate itself” from a written a submission which was made on a greenway upgrade in Cork city. 

This morning a Garda spokesperson told The Echo  'no official submission has been made at this time' on the

Passage Railway Greenway and added that 'any other submission is deemed a personal submission'.

Last week, elected members of Cork City Council were briefed on the Emerging Preferred Route (EPR) for phase 2 of the greenway. 

The project team identified the possible impact of the adjoining Special Protection Area as well as security and privacy concerns as some of the main reasons why coastal routes were not brought forward. Instead, it is planned to route the greenway in front of the houses along the Rochestown Road, despite a majority of submissions to a consultation process preferring a coastal route. 

In a letter seen by The Echo, a solicitor representing the Rochestown Area Residents and Business Association wrote to An Garda Síochána regarding a submission to City Council as part of the consultation process.

Submission raised concerns

The submission was said to be from 'An Garda Síochána' and raised concerns such as a "significant increase in the risk of trespass”.

The letter written by the Association's solicitor states that the submission contradicts An Garda Síochána’s policy “in respect of making public submissions in matters such as this” and requests confirmation on the rank of the Garda who made the submission.

If the submission was not made by a Garda of the rank of Superintendent or higher, the Association call upon An Garda Síochána “to communicate this formally to Cork City Council and to publicly disassociate itself from this written submission”.

The Association said it has discussions with individual Gardaí who said that there is “minimal antisocial behaviour on the Hop Island to Passage West coastal greenway”.

“Our Client is at a loss to understand the position of An Garda Síochána in respect of its policies and objectives, as stated nationally, which would protect pedestrians and other vulnerable public place users by separating them from motorised vehicular traffic,” read the letter.

In a social media post, Cork City Council said that “as part of a non-statutory public consultation process to help inform early design decision for phase 2 of the B’rock/Passage Greenway, we received an online submission from a local garda station.

“Cork City Council staff followed up on the online submission and were promptly given a name by the local garda station to formally accompany the submission.” 

A spokesperson for An Garda Síochána said: “An Garda Síochána has a close working relationship with Cork City Council and where necessary make submission on public consultation programmes through official channels. No official submission has been made at this time.

“Formal submissions in relation to this are submitted through the Office of Chief Superintendent, any other submission is deemed a personal submission.

“An Garda Síochána does not comment on any personal submissions.”

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