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Parking problems at Mullaghmore

A CLARE County Council official has acknowledged that if there are issues with road safety at Mullaghmore that he will do anything within his role to “push any measures” that are required through.

Senior executive engineer, Hugh McGrath made these comments at a recent Killaloe Electoral Area meeting, which covers the Mullaghmore area of North Clare, following a motion tabled by Councillor Pat Hayes.

Councillor Hayes proposed that a review of the parking facilities at Mullaghmore be carried out in the interest of traffic movements and safety for road users and walkers.

The Fianna Fáil councillor said that, particularly during the summer months, parking is a significant problem, with “cars parking all over the place”. He said there are issues surrounding public safety, as a result of having no traffic management plan at the popular location.

Councillor Hayes said he was not aware whether parking issues were the full responsibility of the National Parks and Wildlife Service or not and said he felt that the council had a role to play in relation to dealing with road safety issues, which he felt was of concern here.

He asked Mr McGrath to arrange a meeting with the National Parks and Wildlife Service, as he said, “We need to find a solution to this because people are finding it very difficult to get around up there.”

Councillor Hayes suggested that the road design section of the council look at it, as he said the issues there are “not going away”.

“I’m asking you to intervene and find a solution to it,” he said.

In a formal reply to the motion, Mr McGrath said, “Responsibility for the management of all facilities associated with Mullaghmore rests with the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) and not Clare County Council. The most recent draft proposals for the construction of a visitor car park were submitted by NPWS in late 2012. This application was subsequently withdrawn.”

Speaking at the meeting, Mr McGrath said he would do “anything within my role if road safety is an issue and there are problems on the public road, I’ll have to push any measures” through.

However, he qualified this by saying there was “a bigger planning issue” at play here and he said there was “no point in saying” he would be the one to solve it. “We’ve a role to manage road safety. Whatever we need to do, we’ll do it,” he said.

Councillor Hayes welcomed this. “We need to set up a meeting with the National Parks and Wildlife Service and, who knows, something minimal might alleviate the issue but there is no point burying my head in the sand.

“If there’s an accident up there and we do nothing, we’re all responsible,” he concluded.

By Carol Byrne

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