Tallaght residents divided over the closing of laneway

By Maurice Garvey

CLOSING off the right of way at a disputed laneway between Raheen and Whitebrook, will lead to another set of problems, according to Whitebrook Park residents.

The lane has been a contentious issue for decades – dividing opinion in the area.

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Separate petitions forwarded by communities to South Dublin County Council had Raheen residents advocating for the laneway to be extinguished and Whitebrook residents stating that the right of way should remain.

“Reports of anti-social behaviour and criminal activity in the laneway have been blown out of proportion,” said Whitebrook resident Mary Wallace.

Having lived in the area for 36 years, Ms Wallace’s back garden backs onto to the disputed lane.

A group of Whitebrook residents gathered at the lane on Monday to express their preference in keeping the walkway open for public use.

With regard to anti-social issues in the lane, Ms Wallace said “people have different opinions, we feel there are only really one or two people at the back of Raheen who want it closed.”

“We’re fighting as residents, not as Sinn Féin. It was said once or twice over the years about a land grab, you get half, I get half, but I’m quite happy with my back garden. The lane is vital for kids going to school at St Mark’s, for residents going to the shops and bus stops.

“People used to drink in the lane, but that hasn’t happened in a while. Closing it down could lead to more of that activity, and dumping.”

A Whitebrook group statement said they “don’t disagree with honest comments made about several incidents over the last 40 years or so” and that residents have been working with the council for many years.

Possible options put forward by South Dublin County Council include either extinguishing the right of way, or installing public lighting to “alleviate issues of anti-social behaviour.”

Residents in the community are encouraged to respond to information leaflets being sent out by SDCC, which contains details of public consultations and deadline for submissions on the right of way.

Ultimately, a final decision will be decided upon when the council reconvenes after the summer.

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