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Councillor James Breen
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Councillor moots crash barrier for ‘dangerous’ road

AN incident on a “dangerous stretch of road” along the N85 resulted in a signpost being “split in two” and the driver having a lucky escape from serious injury.

Details of the recent incident have emerged as Councillor James Breen suggested that a crash barrier be installed on the road at the entrance to his property at Ballyknock, Kilnamona.

According Councillor Breen this stretch of road been the site of a number of accidents in recent years.

“This is a very dangerous stretch of road; 90% of accidents between Ennistymon and Whelan’s Quarry have happened on that stretch of road. Thank God nobody has lost their life yet and I hope in the future nobody will,” he stated.

He told a recent meeting of the Ennis Municipal District that he had “no objection” to the council installing a crash barrier on his land. He said that the recent accident in the early hours of the morning resulted in a signpost being “split in two” adding, “if it was a few nights before, they would have been dead because of all the flooding”.

Councillor Paul Murphy supported the motion, also welcoming the recent work done to fix potholes on the road near Kilnamona Cross. Councillor Tom McNamara said a three mile stretch from Whelan’s Quarry to O’Neill’s Cross is “one of the worst stretches of national road in the county”.

He said that pressure should be put on Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII), continuing, “There is a 100km speed limit and the most you can do is 50km or 60km to be safe.”

Councillor Pat Daly commented that the road is one of the county’s busiest, bringing people to tourist attractions such as the Cliffs of Moher. Councillor Mary Howard queried if the fact that the road is “in such a terrible state” that it is deterring people from overnight stays in Ennis after visiting the cliffs. “I would feel very unsafe if I was driving a bus there.”

Eamon O’Dea, senior executive engineer, confirmed that the municipal district office are in contact with TII.

He stated, “The municipal district office contacted the transport section once this accident was brought to our attention by Councillor Breen. The transport section contacted the appropriate person in Transport Infrastructure Ireland and they have requested the design team for this work to examine the location and see what solutions are feasible.

“One of the restrictions in the use of crash barrier at this location is the narrow margin between the road edge and the top of the stream/river embankment. This margin does not give the appropriate space for standard barrier to deflect when struck by a vehicle, therefore a more detailed design is required for the barrier. The transport section and the municipal district office are in weekly contact with the TII on this matter.”

Jessica Quinn

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