Council to push ahead with controversial plan for scenic Kilkenny village despite local opposition
A controversial plan to build new footpaths and paving to allow for parking spaces at one of Kilkenny’s most scenic villages will go ahead despite significant local opposition.
A group called ‘Save Inistioge’, set up by local man John Gilsenan which currently has just under 600 members, came together in recent months to voice their opposition to Kilkenny County Council’s Traffic Management and Village Enhancement Scheme for the village.
The residents claim the works will cause irreparable damage to Inistioge’s unique character. They also said the works, which would take months to complete, will have a serious impact on local businesses.
Residents and supporters so far amassed over 250 signatures outlining their opposition to the plan. And more than 300 people attended a gathering in Inistioge’s square last weekend to voice their anger at the proposed measures.
“I don’t see much in the plan that will enhance the village and I’d think I’d be speaking for a lot of people in our group when I say that,” John Gilsenan told KilkennyNow.
However, despite the petition and online campaign, council members insist most people in Inistioge are not opposed.
“In a village where there’s a few hundred people living, I don’t understand how they can say that. It’s the majority of people that are opposed,” adds Mr Gilsenan.
Local TD John McGuinness organised a meeting between council officials and members of the ‘Save Inistioge’ group last Friday.
Mr McGuinness told KilkennyNow: “They [locals] never made it clear to me that they were rejecting the plan.”
Council officials, three members of the ‘Savce Inistioge’ group and two engineers were present at the meeting where it was announced the plan would go ahead once the funding is in place.
One concern raised by opponents to the plan is that Inistioge, which have been the setting for Hollywood movies such as Circle of Friends, Widow’s Peak and The Secret Scripture – as well as the recent Dunnes Stores Christmas TV ad campaign, will no longer be able to attract filmmakers.
Mr Gilsenan said he spoke about the plan to leading film producer Noel Pearson, who he said told him “you can forget about filming in Inistioge” if the controversial scheme was given the green light.
However, one aspect of the scheme that has the backing of the vast majority of residents are plans for a speed bump outside the national school to slow down traffic. Speeds through the village have been recorded at over 20% faster than the legal limit.