Home » Motoring


The remains of the Nissan Qashqai in a front garden.

Anatomy of a Crash

The death toll on our roads continues to climb with seemingly no end in sight. The statistics make grim reading. I recently got a phone call from my brother Anthony, telling me of his own car crash. Happily, there was a positive outcome with very minor injuries and Anthony will not form part of this year’s statistics. Here is the story in his own words… Have you ever been in a large washing machine during the spin cycle? I came close on Tuesday morning, when my car came off the road at high speed, and rolled over at least twice. I was lucky to walk away from the single vehicle crash with a bruised thumb, a stiff neck and a small cut to my scalp. But for a few agonising seconds I thought I was going to come face to face with a maker I don’t believe in. I am telling this story to let people know what it feels …

Read More »

Abbey Street car park transformation first step for Ennis 2040

THE transformation of Ennis’ Abbey Street Carpark into a retail and office space is set to be the first project to be delivered under the Ennis 2040 plan it has been revealed. The proposed re-development, if given the green light, is expected to create hundreds of jobs and draw thousands of shoppers into Ennis’ town centre. A planning application for Abbey Street is to be lodged by the middle of this year, the Ennis Designated Activity Company (DAC) have confirmed. The Ennis 2040 DAC say the proposed project would result in 100 permanent jobs once complete and 200 jobs during construction, and create a town centre footfall of 20,000 shoppers a week. COO of Ennis 2040 Kevin Corrigan said that, “The Ennis 2040 team and Clare County Council are working hard to deliver on the vision of a vibrant and sustainable town centre for future generations. Ennis 2040 will be commencing extensive public consultations on the proposed town centre projects …

Read More »

Call for west Clare roads to be bumped up winter gritting list

A WEST Clare councillor has called for the reclassification of regional roads in the district to facilitate more regular gritting during a cold snap. Councillor Murphy proposed the R487, R488 between Kilkee, Carrigaholt and Kilbaha, and the R473 between Kildysart and Labasheeda, be included as strategic regional routes in future winter service plans as Priority Two. Speaking at a recent West Clare Municipal District meeting, Councillor Murphy said these two strategic regional routes were not included in the Winter Plan for treating roads, despite the fact they served significant populations. The Kilkee Councillor said the R487 is effectively a main road to the Loop Head Peninsula for about 3,000 people. “These roads should be treated as Priority Two, which means their treatment will not be done on an ad-hoc basis. This would ensure they are a core part of the treatment of roads rather than we will get to them if we can. “This is exactly the kind of stuff …

Read More »

Road safety role mooted for Council Active Travel officer

E-SCOOTERS, drug driving and safer cycling could be some of the tasks on the ‘to-do’ list for the new joint role of Active Travel and Road Safety Officer at Clare County Council.  At the January meeting, Councillor Gabriel Keating called on the authority to appoint an officer to deal with the issues of active travel and road safety. “In January 2021, Minister Eamon Ryan and Hildegarde Naughten launched funding for up to 248 jobs in local authorities to expand walking and cycling facilities all over the country, costing more than €1.8 billion during the lifetime of the government,” he said. “One of the conditions was that each local authority will appoint an Active Travel Officer. Now regarding the Road Safety Officer, there has been a huge increase in the number of fatalities on our roads in Clare and I think it’s time now that we consider appointing a new full time Road Safely Officer.” The motion was seconded by Councillor …

Read More »

Road gritting has been good, but could be better – councillors

GRITTING of the county’s roads during December’s sub-zero temperatures was commended by Council members who also called for more to be done to keep rural routes safe. A joint motion, tabled by Councillors Cillian Murphy, Shane Talty, Ian Lynch, Joe Killeen, Joe Garrihy and Cathaoirleach Tony O’Brien highlighted “significant difficulties” in many rural communities. The motion also asked for a review of what constitutes a “strategic regional route” in the Council’s priority list in the winter gritting plan.  Councillor Murphy commended the work of Council teams over the cold snap. “There are a number of routes across the country that that seem to provide the critical key transport corridors for communities,” the Loop Head man said. “Just because they have lower population density, it does leave them at far more risk of isolation than many other communities. I had a call from the school in Kilkee where school and public transport were not operating because it was unsafe to do …

Read More »

Tarred-over road sign at site of accident restored

ROAD markings have been reinstated at Ballyhannon Cross where recently a resident was hit by a van which failed to halt at a stop sign. The need for the road markings was highlighted at a recent meeting of the Ennis Municipal District by Mayor of Ennis, Councillor Clare Colleran Molloy. She urged that the “necessary road markings be reinstalled at Ballyhannon Cross”. The work has since been done. Since the roads were resurfaced months ago, she said, the white lining from the stop signs indicating the stop line were tarred over at Ballyhannon Cross. “These white lines need to be replaced urgently, in light of a recent incident where a local resident was going down Ballyhannon to Quin when he was struck by a van at the cross who failed to stop at the stop sign.” Paddy Tiernan, A/Senior Executive Engineer, informed the meeting that the road markings would be reinstated at Ballyhannon Cross with Councillor Colleran Molloy saying the …

Read More »

Park & Ride for Ennis could solve traffic issues says councillor

A PARK and ride scheme for Ennis could be the solution to traffic problems in the town centre a local councillor has insisted. However while the local authority has said it is continuing to “explore the possibility” of acquiring land for parking, a source of funding would be needed. Councillor Pat Daly, speaking at a meeting of the Ennis Municipal District, urged the council to look at purchasing or leasing land close to the town for use as a pilot scheme for a park and ride centre. He said he has “never seen Ennis as bad for traffic” adding there are “bottlenecks every day of the week”. He suggested a site on the Tulla Road would be suitable for the introduction of a pilot scheme. “A pilot scheme is something that should be looked at where people could park their car and go and do their shopping. This would take cars out of the town centre.” Leonore O’Neill, Senior Executive …

Read More »

Frustration at red tape around move to reduce speed limits

FRUSTRATION has been expressed at the red tape that surrounds the process of reviewing and appealing speed limits. The point was made by Councillor Joe Cooney, at the end-of-year meeting of the Killaloe Municipal District, that action is needed on the route between Tuamgraney and Killaloe. However, he described a Council response to his motion, calling for a speed limit change on the R463 from the Steiner Schools to Raheen Hospital, as disappointing. The response from Senior Executive Engineer Derek Troy outlined that Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII), rather than Clare County Council, is responsible for conducting reviews. It also outlined an appeals mechanism whereby individuals can make a case to a local appeals board. If they are not happy with the outcome, that can be referred to a regional panel and then back to an annual Council meeting for final approval. “I am not happy with the reply,” Councillor Cooney said. “We are all well aware of this section of …

Read More »