THE controversy over the closing of rights-of-way at Cluain Airne and the building of housing on a green area there was up for discussion at Monday’s meeting of Shannon Town Council and a group of protestors gathered outside to make their feelings known.
Mairead Heffernan said she was angry with the decision of Clare County Council to develop the land and she was critical of the members who sit on the two councils.
“We just feel the county council are supposed to be representing us and they aren’t. We’ve told them how we feel and they’ve totally ignored us. We feel we actually have to fight the people that are supposed to be representing us.”
She claimed that the zoning of green areas had been changed using clandestine means. “They’re building houses on a plot of land that was recreational, but they changed the zoning to residential very slyly. If we had known we would have been up in arms,” Ms Heffernan said.
Eileen Philips said that the protestors were not insensitive to the needs of people seeking affordable houses but that there were other sites available. “Nobody is against affordable housing, it’s just where it’s being built and the blocking of the walkways up to the Point. That’s where people take their dogs for a walk or go with their families. They’ve completely destroyed the green area and we don’t think it’s fair. And our councillors are doing nothing. It’s very unfair.”
Colm Egan of the Concerned Residents of Cluain Airne group said that people feel they have been neglected by the people who represent them. “Not only have we been let down by the county council but by the town councillors as well, with the exception of the few who joined this year. They’re our elected representatives and we’ve told them what we want. None of those have done anything we want. We’re not happy with this decision and we feel we’re left out in the cold.”
Prior to Tuesday’s meeting, letters had been sent by residents to the town council complaining about the development. In one letter, it was claimed that there are 92 empty houses in Shannon at the moment, while it was claimed that Clare County Council had been “deceitful” in relation to the matter.
Nicole Murphy, secretary of the Concerned Residents of Cluain Airne group was one of the letter writers, and she called for the project to be entirely relocated.
“We object to this whole scheme being built on our green area and we would urge you, our councillors, to stop this project in Cluain Airne and move the build to land owned by Clare County Council, which is serviced, and rezone our green area back to recreational,” she stated in the letter.