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Lights out on scouts in ‘Bridge


THERE is dissatisfaction in Sixmilebridge, as street lighting close to the Old Station House, which is used by the local scout group has been turned off.
Some 170 young people use the facility, while there are 30 adult volunteers there. 
In a letter sent to local councillors recently, it was claimed that the lack of lighting makes things dangerous there. “While it was possible to hold these meetings without streetlighting during the brighter months, it is now coming to the point where we are considering suspending weekly meetings.”
They claim that children could easily fall in the area. “ Visibility in the grounds of the Scout Hall and on the footpath that is adjacent to it is extremely limited. Children will run and play as is their nature and the light coming from within the Scout Hall is not enough to illuminate the outside areas. Even to walk around the building requires a torch as you simply cannot see the ground in front of you or any trip hazards that could be there.”
It was also claimed that there are problems when children are being dropped off and picked up. “The only illumination is coming from motor vehicles and while we are taking precautions, we feel that the current situation is just an accident waiting to happen.”
It added that the group “simply do not have enough adult Leaders to patrol the large public carpark to ensure they are all walking into the Scout Hall in a safe manner in the pitch dark.”
It claims there was no discussion or consultation with the group prior to the decision to turn off the lights.
The group has now asked that they either be reconnected or the group be provided with adequate temporary lighting fixtures that it can use to illuminate the area around the Scout Hall. 
The letter also said that “someone in the area is using an area of public footpath beside a clothes bank as a toilet.  There is used toilet paper and large quantities of faeces starting to accumulate.  I’ll spare you of the grotesque images but we would appreciate it if someone from Clare County Council would come and clean it up for us please.”
 When asked about the lack of street lighting in the area a spokesman for Clare County Council had said that following the  establishment of an illegal connection to the electricity supply network on the public lighting infrastructure at the Old Station House carpark, the service provider “had deemed the situation unsafe and disconnected the supply.”
The spokesman also stated that once the risk of interference has been removed the Council will ask for the service to be reconnected. 

About Owen Ryan

Owen Ryan has been a journalist with the Clare Champion since 2007, having previously worked for a number of other regional titles in Limerick, Galway and Cork.