Wednesday 23 September 2009

Golf club welcomes right of way vote

THE GENERAL manager of Doonbeg golf club has admitted that the costs incurred by the golf club in a right of way dispute at the course over the past six years “have been significant”.

Speaking after members of Clare County Council voted overwhelmingly to end the long-running dispute by extinguishing a contentious right of way at the course, club manager Joe Russell said that he was “very, very pleased with the decision”.

Mr Russell said he was in contact with the council yesterday to find out what the next steps were in extinguishing the right of way and providing an alternative.

The council’s decision on Monday ends the public’s right to walk across the fourth and 14th fairways at the Greg Norman-designed Doonbeg golf course to Doughmore beach.

The alternative right of way is to be provided a short distance from the existing one, while the golf club is to construct a 70-space car park.

Mr Russell said the works to be undertaken would be done over the winter and would be in place for the 2010 summer season.

At the council’s adjourned September meeting, councillors voted 22 to three in favour of extinguishing the right of way. The long-running row has seen the golf club constructing a wall across the disputed right of way and involved two separate High Court actions.

The club is currently engaged in judicial review proceedings against an An Bord Pleanála decision which found that the wall was built across an existing right of way without planning permission. The case is listed for mention in the High Court next month.

The council has previously served a warning letter on the club over the construction of the wall.

At the meeting, long-time opponent of moves to extinguish the right of way, Fianna Fáil councillor PJ Kelly warned the decision would be legally challenged.

Irish Times

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