CLARE COUNTY Council has announced that it is to hold an oral hearing into contentious plans to extinguish a right of way across the 4th and 14th fairways at the €150 million Doonbeg golf resort.
The move by the council is the latest bid to resolve a long-running row over the disputed vehicular right of way that has involved two separate High Court actions.
However, the plan to extinguish the right of way is facing opposition from senior members of Clare County Council, including Clare's mayor, Cllr Madeleine Taylor Quinn (FG).
In one of 16 submissions on the proposal to eliminate the right of way, Cllr Taylor Quinn is proposing that a tunnel be built under the course to provide access to the beach.
Cllr Taylor Quinn is supported by leader of the council's Fianna Fáil group, Cllr PJ Kelly who said that a pre-cast tunnel under the fairway would be the best solution.
The move that sparked the current dispute was Doonbeg golf club erecting in 2004 a 2m high wall across the disputed right of way in 2004. One year later, An Bord Pleanála ruled that the golf club acted illegally in building the wall without planning permission.
As a result, the council issued Doonbeg golf club with a warning letter over the construction of the wall. However, a stay was put on the action following Doonbeg golf club applying for judicial review proceedings of An Bord Pleanála decision.
The compromise solution now put forward by the council involves the disputed right of way being extinguished and it being replaced with an alternative right of way close to the existing one.
The oral hearing is to take place in Doonbeg on October 1st and 2nd next at Doonbeg community hall.
A spokesman for Doonbeg golf club said yesterday that the club is pleased that the oral hearing is to be held.
The Irish Times