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Councillor pledges to tackle Kilrush street lighting extension

A KILRUSH-based councillor is to make efforts to extend street lighting between the Shanakyle Road and St Senan’s Graveyard.

Independent member of the West Clare Municipal District, Ian Lynch, tabled a motion calling for the extension and seeking details on options and costs for new lights.

“St Senan’s Graveyard Group contacted me to see if they could get the lights extended out about 200 metres,” Councillor Lynch told the January meeting of the district committee. “The isolation that people are experiencing through Covid is prompting many to get some bit of comfort out of visiting the graveyard to see their loved ones. Sometimes people have gotten caught in the evening times, on the short evenings. The group asked me to put in this notice of motion. Pre-empting the response, I was trying to get a feel for the cost of putting up these lights. It’s a motion that’s come up several times throughout the municipal district, especially around schools, and there’s not funding there for them.”

A written response from Pat Lynch, Executive Engineer in the Transportation Section outlined a lack of funding in the maintenance budget and said it was up to the district to provide additional lighting through their funds.

In response to a question from Councillor Lynch on the national project to retrofit public light with LED bulbs said it will be 2022 before works begin in Clare.

In answer to a question the cost of various options for new lighting, Mr Lynch’s response stated that this can vary significantly depending on specific circumstances including the wattage of the lights, the condition of poles, the ground and other factors.

Commenting on the replies, Councillor Lynch said he would like to spend some of his General Municipal Allowance (GMA) on the lighting. “If I had a rough idea of how much the cost would be, I could plan it out,” he said. “Perhaps this is something that I could discuss with Pat over the phone. What I’d have to do is identify the poles and get someone to come out to look at it. If I could get a rough idea, I’d gather the GMA over a couple of years to get some of this stuff done.”

The motion was seconded by Councillor Shane Talty, who said he too would have welcomed some detail on the cost of the poles. “I had submitted motions last year about potential new lighting,” he said. “They were each, more or less, dismissed and what we’re not getting here again are details of what kind of figures we’re talking about. Again, the GMA might have a role to play. I know each pole is different and unique, but I’m pretty sure we could estimate it to the nearest €1,000.”

About Fiona McGarry

Fiona McGarry joined The Clare Champion as a reporter after a four-year stint as producer of Morning Focus on Clare FM. Prior to that she worked for various radio, print and online titles, including Newstalk, Maximum Media and The Tuam Herald. Fiona’s media career began in her native Mayo when she joined Midwest Radio. She is the maker of a number of radio documentaries, funded by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI). She has also availed of the Simon Cumbers Media Fund to report on development issues supported by Irish Aid in Haiti. She won a Justice Media Award for a short radio series on the work of Bedford Row Project, which supports prisoners and families in the Mid-West. Fiona also teaches on the Journalism programmes at NUI Galway. If you have a story and would like to get in touch with Fiona you can email her at fmcgarry@clarechampion.ie or telephone 065 6864146.

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