Act of God – A Blessing in Disguise at Cahereen Heights

Cahereen Heights Lawn Collapse 22-11-2014
Shocked neighbours discussing the collapse at Cahereen Heights last November. ©Photograph: John Reidy 22-11-2014

Acts of God and their aftermath are usually hand-wringing affairs. There are very few exceptions to the rule. One of them, which brought the spotlight of the country on a housing estate in Castleisland last November, was officially declared a blessing-in-disguise by a community leader on Thursday evening.
Cahereen Heights was a hot topic during the height of last winter when an underground, storm-water attenuation tank roof collapsed under the weight of tons of rain-sodden earth.
A huge hole, in which you could hide an articulated truck in, appeared suddenly one Saturday morning on the roadside green between the houses and the road.

Down to Earth

There were ‘experts’ on sinkholes brought on to radio shows to explain the phenomena. However, the down-to-earth reality of the situation wouldn’t match the hype of the headline and the experts retreated.

Duffy Contractors machinery at work on the Cahereen Heights estate in mid December. ©Photograph: John Reidy 15-12-2014
Duffy Contractors machinery at work on the Cahereen Heights estate in mid December. ©Photograph: John Reidy 15-12-2014

Now, an estimated three quarters of a million Euro has been put into the regeneration of Cahereen Heights – just off the South Circular Road here in Castleisland – since work began there in mid December.
New footpaths have been laid and furnished with brand new wiring and street lighting. A new storm water and sewage system has been installed and a vast programme of landscaping and shrub and tree planting has just been completed – and the estate has a cycle lane.
Now it’s celebration time in the neighbourly estate and the entrance has been furnished with pillar-top lighting and it sports colour printed signage with the estate name and photograph.

Blessing in Disguise
“The collapse of the tank and the hole it left in the green area there was a blessing in disguise – though we didn’t realize it at the time,” said residents’ association member, Charlie Farrelly.
“The RTÉ news report and pictures from the site at the time of the collapse were seen over in America by the head of Liberty Insurance and from there on things started to happen fast. We couldn’t find a fault with the way the Liberty rep Enda Henry handled the situation once they got the ball rolling on the reconstruction project. They appointed James Duffy & Sons Contractors from Longford / Westmeath and they were on site here by December 15th and they have done an excellent job here.
We also got huge help from Kerry County Council staff starting at the local office and area engineer, Brendan Mulhern and area foreman, Jerry Lenihan as well as Donal Murphy and David Doyle in planning.

New Street Lighting
Local electrical contractor, John Keane also worked on the new street lighting and we’re delighted with him as he managed to carry out the work without the need for total blackouts. They all worked through some really rough weather conditions throughout the winter and they still made their targets,” said Mr. Farrelly.
The residents of Cahereen Heights are now planning a celebration of the completion of the work on their estate with a party on Saturday afternoon. A marquee has been erected on a green area and the neighbors are looking forward to greeting new and potential residents as more of the houses go on sale in the coming weeks.

Ideally Situated

“We can look forward now to meeting new people buying houses in here. There are properties here which are ideal for young couples starting off at €60,000 or so. They would have been away out of their reach a few years ago. There are some bigger houses with greater price tags here too and I believe that it’s mainly locals who are showing interest in these. The place is ideally situated with shops and schools within easy walking distances and the community here is gelling nicely,” said Charlie.
The longer established residents can raise a glass to an act of God which ended several years of campaigning for better facilities on the estate. They can now join with their new neighbours in celebrating fresh beginnings in their good-as-new surroundings.
The party is set to kick-off at around 5pm on Saturday evening and anyone who had a hand in the renewal project will be welcomed.
Stuarts Auctioneers are handling the sales of the remaining houses at Cahereen Heights and you can contact Laura at 066 71 41191 or have a look through the link below for this and other properties on the market in the Castleisland area. These include residential properties in: Currans, Farranfore and Scartaglin.