New road is ‘Scholars Way’ after heated debate over public views 29/08/17 : the chronicle.ie

New road is ‘Scholars Way’ after heated debate over public views 29/08/17

| September 29, 2017

The naming of the new Inner Relief Road in Gorey proved a protracted and divisive affair at the monthly meeting of the District Council

The dispute centred over whether or not a public consultation was a public vote and suggestions that there was a level of orchestration to have the route named after a particular individual while it was further pointed out that the submissions on behalf of that individual while comprehensive had failed to mention some important facts about him.

The naming process came at the end of a long day for councillors who had been in session for six hours when they finally turned their attention to a name for the Inner Relief Road.

With a total of fifteen submissions in all and five of them for ‘Diarmaid O’Suilleabhain Road’ councillors Fionntan O’Suilleabhain and Mary Farrell said he was the public’s choice and suggested that should be the end of the matter.

However, District Manager Amanda Byrne, pointed out that it was not a public vote but a consultation process.

But O’Suilleabhain said there was a public demand that the road be named after Diarmaid O’Suilleabhain and the councillors should go with it.

But Cllr. Malcolm Byrne said no road or street in Gorey was named after a woman and he felt that should be rectified suggesting it be called Nurse Dempsey Way after a famous local mid-wife.

And he said if this road was not named after a woman then they should make a point of naming the next available road after a female.

Cllr. John Hegarty said he could not understand why the councillors would tie their hands in relation to naming a future road after a woman.

He also said that the detailed submissions made to support that name of Diarmaid O’Suilleabhain seemed to have omitted one fact.

While there was continuing debate on the name choice one submission won no backers. Robert Munnelly suggested that it be named ‘Roady McRoadface’

Cllr. Pip Breen suggested that Scholars Walk would be an appropriate name for the road given the number of students who would use it each day as they made their way to the several schools in the area.

As the debate continued Cllr. Hegarty suggested that they vote in secret ballot to decide the matter.

Cllr. O’Suilleabhain and Cllr. Farrell objected and Cllr. Anthony Donohoe said he did not care whether the vote was in public or by secret ballot.

But Chairman Joe Sullivan opted for a secret vote with District Director Annette O’Neill appointed in charge of the count. In the end Scholars Way was the selection.

An angry Cllr. Fionntan O’Suilleabhain slammed his colleagues and asked what was the point in asking the public to be part of the process if their views were to be ignored.

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