There were fraught and at times emotional contributions at the resumed hearing into the south Kerry Greenway Project along 32 kilometres of an old rail line skirting the N70 Ring of Kerry today.

An application on Thursday, day three, to adjourn proceedings to allow a group of 27 landowners to study hundreds of pages of new information on the environmental impact of the project introduced by the council was refused.

Senior Kerry County Council planner, Tom Sheehy flatly contradicted claims by farmers, including the IFA, that there had been a lack of consultation and the council's approach had been to "bulldoze" through plans for the greenway since it was announced in 2014.

"Kerry County council has engaged and continued to engage right up to the start of this week," he said.  

Mr Sheehy said "an example" was four adjacent landowners were all in agreement at the start, but after five months of continuous negotiation they could not agree on a route with the council. 

"It is still the case he majority of the 160 agricultural  landowners are in favour. 27 are not. A number of these stated to me "you will never take an inch of my land and you will never get it," Mr Sheehy said.

However, IFA chair Pat O'Driscoll said a little bit of softness in the council's approach would have gone a long way. 

The IFA is also questioning whether greenways are included in the definition of public roads under the Roads Act, which forms the basis for the application for the project as a whole. 

Cahersiveen shop owner, Deirdre Garvey, who returned with her family to the town, said the greenway was "an extraordinary opportunity,  for the "ordinary people" of south Kerry but it was not a yes/no Facebook project.

She urged a more "nuanced" approach, to accommodate the concerns of landowners and to compensate them properly.

The hearing itself was a factual process but it was very hard to remove the emotional side, "when you are speaking of a person's home place and land," Ms Garvey added.

The hearing continues next week, when information on the application to acquire all 222 pieces of land by Compulsory Purchase Order under the powers of the Housing Act will be looked into.

The prospect of legal action including a judicial review of proceedings has been introduced by environmentalist Peter Sweetman.