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Blake’s Corner ‘fiasco’ in Nagle’s crosshairs

A local representative has roundly criticised the ongoing “fiasco” at Blake’s Corner in Ennistymon.
“It is a sad situation when two derelict buildings can override health and safety and traffic and the community,” said Councillor Richard Nagle.

Councillor Nagle recently called on Clare County Council to contact the National Roads Authority (NRA), requesting funding in order to allow the Environmental Impact Statement, for Blake’s and Linnane’s Corner at the N85-N67 to be completed this year.

The council’s official response came from senior engineer Tom Tiernan, Roads and Transportation. “Since confirmation by An Bord Pleanála that an EIS is required, Clare County Council has continuously emphasised to the NRA the importance of moving this issue forward because of how critical it is to the further development of the tourism industry in North Clare and also in the interests of Road Safety.

“The NRA has reiterated its position that it is fully behind the project but due to the fact that its own funding allocation has reduced by well over 50% this year, it was not able to confirm an allocation in 2013.

“Notwithstanding this, we are endeavouring to find a means of getting the EIS preparation underway in the coming months – possibly by being in a position to benefit from reallocation from elsewhere in the country as occurs from time to time. The NRA is very well aware of councillors’ concerns in relation to this matter,” Mr Tiernan concluded.

Councillor Nagle said this news is not as good as he hoped.

“What happened to the €400,000 that was allocated for this project originally?” he asked.
The Ennistymon man also asserted, “With a reduction of 50% in the NRA allocation, the chances of there being money returned unspent is between slim and none.”

“We are likely to get no money for the EIS in 2013 and will be in limbo in 2014,” Councillor Nagle claimed.

“It is shocking that we had the money but due to circumstances outside our control, we have lost the opportunity and are left with a junction unfit for purpose, that is a traffic hazard, a pedestrian hazard and this will be the case for several years,” he went on.

“It is shocking that we lost that allocation and lost the opportunity to provide a proper junction there that would have enormous benefit to everyone,” Councillor Nagle stated.

“We are going into 2014 with no solution in sight and the whole fiasco continues,” he added.
Councillor Michael Kelly also expressed his frustration at the impasse.

Councillor Nagle forecast “traffic chaos” at the junction going into the high season.

He suggested the council get “a number of loads of ready-mix and fill the hole and for once put people’s health and safety first”.

Responding to calls to address the difficulties at the junction with a short-term solution, the senior executive engineer in the area, Stephen Lahiffe noted, “There is a hazard there but in dealing with one hazard, you have to make sure you don’t create another.”


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