FARMERS in several Cork villages and towns have expressed concerns about a proposed Mallow to Dungarvan greenway project.
The 74km-long greenway is proposed to follow the route of the old Mallow to Dungarvan railway line.
It is set to connect Mallow to Dungarvan and link in with the Cork towns and villages of Fermoy, Ballyhooly, and Killavullen as well as Cappoquin, Lismore, Ballyduff, and Clondulane in Waterford.
Representatives from the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA), met with senior executives from both Cork and Waterford County Council and the consultants to discuss plans for the proposed Mallow to Dungarvan Greenway recently.
North Cork IFA chair Pat O’Keeffe, who attended the meeting, said it was very beneficial.
“The IFA provided the project team with an in-depth outline of the concerns of farmers regarding the greenway and how it could impact very significantly on farmers, their property, and businesses.
"The project promoters provided the IFA with a full briefing on the project and an update on the current feasibility study taking place,” he said.
At the meeting, the IFA highlighted concerns including the loss of privacy with greenways, crossings, litter, animal disease, and wildlife implications around developments and accommodation works.
Mr O’Keeffe said the proposed greenway is “hitting” farmers in different ways.
“No farmer wants it going through their own property. They are fearful their daily working lives will also be affected, and their routine made more difficult.
"It is a small number of people who are affected, but it is impacting them. It is hitting farmers in different ways. They are worried their privacy will be taken and they would suffer inconvenience,” he said.
Mr O’Keeffe said the consultants will take their arguments on board.
“The consultants are only going through Phase 1 at the moment which is the feasibility study and dealing with the challenges that lie ahead.
"The consultants will take the arguments on board. It is the two local authorities that will have the say.”
A second consultation stage is due to be held later this year which will provide another opportunity for the public to make a submission on the project.
The final report is expected to be published in early 2023 which will include the preferred route and full costs analysis.