A resident whose house backs onto a controversial ‘right of way’ says that the lives of a number of people are being ruined to provide a short cut for a handful of others.
Gerry Maguire’s house is at the entrance to Lynch’s Lane, a laneway that has become a hotbed for anti -social behaviour such as muggings, arson attacks, home-invasions, forcing an elderly lady to move out o f her home, which was later torched.
Gerry and a number of neighbours have put up with a campaign of intimidation from youths who use the lane, and have made many feel like prisoners in their own homes.
More recently some one tried to blow up his oil tank with a firework.
“What I want to know why this lane is being treated differently?” Gerry told the Democrat this week.
“There are established precedents for these problem rights of way being extinguished.”
Gerry mounted a campaign to have the right of way extinguished in 2012.
The motion went before the council, but councillors voted in favour of keeping the laneway open.
The decision is one that Gerry found to be “bizarre” given the circumstances surrounding the site
The people who want to keep the lane open say it is a convenient short-cut for many people in Ard Easmuinn.
Yet their objections didn’t stop there.
“Some of objections to extinguishing the laneway came down to people not liking the way our gardens looked!”
“ The engineer’s report said they [the submissions] were subjective and no made on a factual basis.”
More tellingly, a local Garda Superintendent went on record to say he believed that the extinguishment of the right of way would “reduce the opportunity for anti-social behaviour/criminality in this area,” and that Gardai had no opposition to it.
“I would like to see the councillors who voted against live here for a week,” Gerry said.
The oral hearing which was conducted in June 2013 got so heated that a number of people had to be ejected from the meeting.
Louth County Council told Cllr Edel Corrigan and the Democrat that “There is nothing to stop the process being repeated at any stage.”
However they told Cllr Corrigan that : “there would need to be a significant change in the attitude of all the people affected.
“In addition there is a cost involved in the publication of the public notices, which must be borne by the proposers.
!Incidentally, the cost of the Oral Hearing was €2,842.”
It was also pointed out that there was a statutory process that had to be carried out before the motion could be tabled.
Cllr Corrigan told the Democrat she would like to see the issue revisited by the new Dundalk Municipal District Council and that consideration has to be given to the “anti-social behaviour” that people around the lane are suffering.
“It’s clear that anti-social behaviour is effecting people living the area of Lynch’s Lane,” concluded Cllr Corrigan .