*Cllr John Crowe. Photograph: Martin Connolly
Sixmilebridge councillor John Crowe (FG) has said he will be forced to move out of his home if fencing works are not completed soon in the village such is the level of criticism he has shipped.
Speaking at Friday’s meeting of the Shannon Municipal District, Cllr Crowe who is in his twenty first year as an elected representative on the local authority, hit out at the pace at which works in the square at Sixmilebridge are progressing.
He sought an update as to when works on the riverbank and bridge in the square would be completed and also appealed for fencing “that is blocking off the main river” be taken down.
Malachy Walsh & Partners are the consultants currently progressing the design for the works, senior executive engineer, Aidan O’Rourke confirmed. When this process has been finalised, “subject to consultation with private landowners at this location, it is intended a tender will be advertised in June”. He was hopeful the appointment would allow for works to be concluded in the summer period.
“I’m so disappointed over this particular job,” Cllr Crowe confessed. “It is right outside my front door and every time I walk outside I looking at a fence and have people coming up giving out to me about it”. He stated that nothing had improved in 12 months with anger building within Sixmilebridge.
Having identified a period to complete the works last year, John expressed his anger that the tender will only be advertised in the coming weeks. “It is an absolute disgrace that this can’t be done, the fences were supposed to be done last year”.
A bridge that was in “more serious difficulty” delayed the works being carried out last year while the former Seanad candidate was puzzled as to why there had been no progress with the wall in the centre of Sixmilebridge, “I can’t understand it and then to have this ugly fencing”.
Crowe maintained it wasn’t “a massive job” and one that did not require “consultants to look at a wall”. “Now is the time to do it when the river is low, it should be done”. He described the steel structure as “a massive embarrassment”.
“If we’ve to wait another 12 months between consultants, tenders and everything else, I’ll have to move out because I won’t be able to take much more of it,” Crowe said.
Cllr PJ Ryan (IND) was also dealing with criticism during visits to the shop in Sixmilebridge. “This is causing major frustration in the area in the last twelve months, I can’t go to the shop there without people asking me when the fencing will be removed”. He cautioned that visually impaired individuals living in the village are having “major difficulties” as a result. “It has been ongoing for an awful long time, it is really time do something soon”.
Agreement was voiced by Cllr Gerry Flynn (IND) that if left “an eyesore” in the village. “At the end of the day it is the councillor that gets it in the neck all the time,” he commented. The Shannon resident asked Council officials to alleviate some of the aesthetic shortcomings, “It does take a bit of time especially in current conditions, is there anything that could be done to give the place a lift”.
O’Rourke highlighted that “more substantial works along the river edges” of the O’Garney River also needed to be dealt with. He said that he is “keeping the pressure on” those responsible for the works.