09 Dec 2021

Threat of another protest in Carrick-on-Shannon this weekend

Standoff between businesses and Leitrim County Council'sover the decision to pedestrianise Main Street

Threat of another protest in Carrick-on-Shannon this weekend

Leitrim County Council erected bollards closing Main Street to traffic last weekend

Carrick-on-Shannon businesses are threatening a bigger, stronger and more organised protest against the pedestrianisation of Main Street this weekend if the Council fails to engage with them.

The trial closure of Main Street to traffic from 6pm Friday to 8am Monday every weekend until September got off to a rocky start last Friday, July 2 after a three hour standoff between protesting business people and residents against Leitrim County Council.

The protesters said the erection of bollards and closing off part of the street to traffic was “unlawful”. Gardai were also called to the scene.
The demonstration came to an end just before 9pm after Superintendent Chris Grogan was assured by Chief Executive Lar Power that the closure was indeed lawful.

Local pharmacist, Brendan Kieran, who was one of the protesters, explained they decided to stand down after an agreement was reached that there would be “no celebration” in the form of street entertainment in the area on Saturday and that the Council would engage with locals this week.

Mr Kieran said businesses and residents feel “bullied” and “ignored” by the Council and are frustrated that their queries and opinions are not being listened to. Retailers believe business will be “badly damaged” by the closure of the street to traffic all day Saturday and Sunday. They also have concerns over traffic management and accessibility adding that 400 cars drove up Main Street during the three hour protest.

When contacted by the Observer, Leitrim County Council said they have no comment to make. The protest could return to the street this Friday if there is no engagement between the parties.

For more information see tomorrow's Leitrim Observer newspaper.

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