A pedestrian gate at the entrance to Emo Court has been locked with a steel rod in recent weeks since the land was sold by Coillte.
A private meeting has been called between a number of local residents and the new owner of the land to discuss the right of way around the pedestrian entrance.
The woodland inside the entrance to Emo Court from the village belonged to Coillte until recently when it was sold under private treaty.
In the last number of weeks, the gate, which gives pedestrian access to Emo Court and a recycling bring bank, has been locked. This has forced pedestrians out onto the already narrow road.
Brain Bastick grew up beside the entrance. He said he was shocked that it was closed.
“It was an ancient right of way going back to Emo Court house that is my understanding from talking to older people about it, it used to be a private road and the main gate had to be locked for one day a year to keep it private, but even then the pedestrian gate was always open.
“I was walking through with two big bags of recycling and I had my son with me. I put my foot against the gate and couldn’t open it, it was wedged shut with a big steel rod, I had to put the bags down and hold my son’s hand and bring the bags one by one doing two trips to the bins.
“I know people who used it every day of their lives and I can’t imagine they will just forget about it, they will keep pushing. I think everyone is just wondering why it was closed in the first place,” he said.
Cllr Tom Mulhall said it is ‘disgraceful’ that the pedestrian gate has been locked in recent weeks. He said it is causing ‘chat, annoyance and frustration’ among locals. He requested the meeting between locals and the new owner which will take place on Wednesday evening.
“It is courtesy of vehicles at the moment to let each other in and out as it is not wide enough for two cars to get through and the pedestrian gate is hugely important.
“Losing pedestrian access is a shame there is a lock on the gate and the people of Emo are locked out of a public area,” he said.
A spokesperson for Coillte has said that 0.112 hectares of land at the gate was recently sold. The sale of the lodge was completed in November.
The sale of the land was offered on the open market and sold by Private Treaty, so Coillte said it would not disclose who the new owner is or how much it was sold for and had no further comment on the closed gate.
A meeting is due to take place between local people and the new owner on Wednesday, December 5.