Griffin Calls for Removal of Kells Viaduct Graffiti

Griffin Calls for Removal of Kells Viaduct Graffiti

        Council to Examine Safe Solution for Defaced Railway Structure

        Lobbying Continues for Greenway Funding

Statement by Brendan Griffin TD (FG) Kerry

Friday, February 7th 2014

KERRY Fine Gael TD, Brendan Griffin, has been told by Kerry County Council that it will examine safe solutions to removing the graffiti on the historic Gleesk Railway Viaduct at Kells.

Responding to requests from Deputy Griffin for action to be taken following numerous acts of graffiti on the listed structure, Ger McNamara, Senior Roads Engineer, said that the graffiti is an eyesore on the structure and that its removal is desirable.

However, he disagreed with Deputy Griffin’s suggestion that a low cost “painting over” could be achieved and said that any work to be conducted at this location has a very high risk from a health and safety perspective.

Deputy Griffin is welcoming Kerry County Council’s response to his requests for action on the viaduct.

“I am glad that Kerry County Council will examine this matter. To say that the current appearance of the Gleesk viaduct is pitiful is an understatement.

“To leave it as it is would send out a very negative impression of Kerry and would represent a lack of appreciation of our railway heritage. This architectural and engineering gem put in place by our forefathers surely deserves better attention. It is a magnificent sight to behold when travelling the Ring of Kerry but it is a terrible shame to see this wonderful structure so badly defaced at present.

“I thank the County Manager, Tom Curran, and Senior Engineer, Ger MacNamara, for agreeing to explore the options available to remedy this problem and look forward to a response as soon as possible.”

Meanwhile, Deputy Griffin this week met with Minister for Transport, Leo Varadkar, to discuss the possibility of securing funding for the development of a cycling and walking greenway along the route of the old Glenbeigh to Valentia Harbour Railway. €6.5 million of funding from the Department of Transport will be allocated in the near future to a handful of greenway projects nationwide that possess major tourism potential. Deputy Griffin has been a long-time advocate of the development of the Glenbeigh to Valentia Harbour Greenway, subject to agreement with landowners, and says that it’s development would be a major game changer for tourism in South Kerry. He has been lobbying Minister Varadkar on the matter over the past three years, and has raised the matter in the Dáil on numerous occasions and hopes that Kerry’s old railway lines in north and south Kerry can be put to good use as greenways in the future.

ENDS

Photos show the defaced Viaduct, a view of the viaduct from on top and one, the view of the sea from the old railway line at Kells and one of the nearby tunnels.

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