Mysterious ‘Closed’ Sign Appears on the River Walk at Herbert Bridge

Members of the River Walk restoration group at work on the railway section of the walk on a Sunday morning in February 2004.  Included are: Amy Burke, Dominic Begley and Kelley Burke. Charlie Farrelly (left) with Edmund and Ned Burke, Margaret Prendiville and machine driver, Jerh Horan. ©Photograph: John Reidy 22-2-2004
Cllr. Charlie Farrelly,  last evening with the overgrown river walk path behind him, is as mystified as any other to the identity of the person who placed the closed sign on the river walk at Herbert Bridge. ©Photograph: John Reidy

Nobody in the area seems to know who, in the locality, conferred on themselves the authority to declare closed the section of river walk from Herbert Bridge on the Killarney Road to the old railway line and onto the western front of the Cahereens West housing estate.

The walk forms a loop within the whole River Maine walk which spans from The Crageens to the Killarney Road.

The Killarney Road to the railway line section of the walk has come in for some local inspection in recent weeks as the path has disappeared completely under the annual spurt of growth as grass turned to hay.

An Obvious State of Neglect

It has become un-walkable since the beginning of the summer growth and is in an obvious state of neglect.

And then this ‘Closed’ sign appears without as much as a how’s your father to anyone left or right.

There’s a bit of a make-shift appearance to the sign and the ‘closed’ bit was clearly cut off a larger sign and it was screw tapped onto a Kerry County Council traffic cone.

There’s a right old deja vu scent off this episode and this area of the walk as it was abandoned before by Kerry County Council.

The original pathway for the walk was laid in the early 1990s as part of the rest of the river walk over the existing right-of-way along by the river.

FÁS and Kerry Council Council

That was a FÁS scheme aided by Kerry Council Council and was done as a consolation to the people of the area after the council backed away from an IFA / local farmers led vehement opposition to the old railway line being turned into a leisure walk from the town back as far as the Camp Gates.

Soon after the failure of the railway walk campaign, Castleisland Development Association set up a sub-committee in the early 1990s. That was made up of: Eileen Brennan, Gerard Walsh, Mike Kenny and myself.

We got on fine and got great co-operation from all concerned and the work of clearing ground and path laying was straight forward and every day brought obvious progress.

Star of the Show

While the area of the walk from Killarney Road to The Crageens became the star of the show the remainder going west was frequently neglected and overgrown.

It got to a point in early 2004 that the Killarney Road to the railway line became overgrown and the local Kerry County Council office told a deputation of locals to go away and clear it themselves.

Long before his Councillor appendage, Charlie Farrelly led a local group who engaged Jerh Horan and a mini-digger and they cleared the path from the bridge all the way into the western front of Cahereens West.

Haven’t They Great Assurance

And so it worked away and served its purpose until it became impassable again recently.

However, the afore mentioned Cllr. Farrelly is currently trying to create a coalition between himself, Castleisland Chamber Alliance and Kerry County Council to agree on a local contractor who will come in to cut the grass back off the path and open it all up again to the people at this end of the town who used it regularly up to lately.

And then, to cap it all, someone landed on with a ready cobbled sign and bollard and assumed for themselves the authority to declare this section of the walk closed. Isn’t that something – or, as the old people used to say: “haven’t they great assurance.”

You can contact The Maine Valley Post on… Anyone in The Maine Valley Post catchment area who would like to send us news and captioned photographs for inclusion can send them to: Queries about advertising and any other matters regarding The Maine Valley Post can also be sent to that address or just ring: 087 23 59 467.