Council looks at alternatives to concrete barrier on scenic pass

 

KERRY COUNTY Council said yesterday it would look at alternatives to concrete barriers which it is claimed are ugly and spoil one of the best coastal views in the country.

The concrete barriers line the sea cliff at the long pass of Coomakista.

The barriers were seen by thousands of visitors – including Taoiseach Enda Kenny – last weekend as they completed the 180km Ring of Kerry charity cycle.

The 3ft barrier was erected for safety in 2007. However, since its erection it has sparked controversy.

Cllr Johnny Healy-Rae, who raised the matter at a recent council meeting, has called for traditional stone wall facing to reduce the impact of the unsightly barrier without compromising safety.

“This is one of the most scenic areas in our county – the barriers should be stone-faced.

“If someone applied for planning in this area they most certainly would not get it. So what’s good for the goose is good for the gander.”

According to Kerry County Council, an allocation of €200,000 has been provided by the National Roads Authority for a barrier trial at the pass. The council was now appointing an engineer to examine the matter, and would look at an alternative barrier, a spokesman said yesterday.

The placename Coomakista, which means “the coom of the cash”, stems from a legend that 18th century French privateers stashed money in the mountain recess.