“THERE will be no stone left on them,” was the opinion of Cllr John Bonham as he told his Borris-in-Ossory electoral area colleagues that stones were being removed off new bridges at Abbeyleix and Mountrath.
“They are being demolished rapidly,” said Cllr Bonham. “Caps and stones are being peeled off the facade of the bridges and I’d urge locals to keep a look out for whoever is doing this.”
Cathaoirleach Marty Phelan said it was ‘pure vandalism’.
Senior Executive Engineer Michael Malone said the matter has been reported to Gardaí in Abbeyleix.
“It could be locals or people driving past. We are unsure. We’d appeal for local vigilance and if anyone sees anything suspicious to report it,” remarked Mr Malone.
He suggested that those removing stones were merely throwing them into the river below.
Cllr Michael Lalor was informed there was ‘no funding available’ to repair the walls on the bridge at Rushin Road, Mountrath. “It is a danger with cattle coming down the road. Stones are also being ripped off the bridge and it will soon come to a stage where there are no stones!”
Cllr Lalor also enquired about the start date for the erection of Birchgrove Bridge ‘as a lot of people had been cribbing about it’.
Mr Malone indicated that within three weeks he should be in a position to reveal the starting and finishing time for the project. “We’ve met with Road Design and have gone through the drawings and design. Six steel large depth sections are needed.”
Cllr Marty Phelan put down the motion asking for repairs to be carried out on the gully bridge at Gortnaclea. “There is a big hole in the wall. There is more work in it than you might imagine.”
And Mr Malone informed him the work would begin next week, “We are currently repairing a bridge at Kilbricken and once completed we will repair the bridge at Gortnaclea.”