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Works sought after South East Clare staycation bonanza

SAFETY works are being sought in South East Clare where a busy summer of staycations has brought record visitor numbers to the area.

Cathaoirleach of the Killaloe Municipal District, Councillor Joe Cooney welcomed the boost to the local economy and commended everyone involved in developing amenities in areas around Ogonnelloe, Ballycuggeran and Two-Mile Gate. However, he repeated an appeal to Clare County Council for safety and traffic management works to facilitate locals and visitors alike.

“It’s really important that traffic calming goes into Ogonnelloe,” the Fine Gael member said “We are all aware that this is a long, drawn-out village and with the Killaloe Bypass and bridge crossing set to come on stream, where will be additional traffic travelling through Ogonnelloe. It’s vitally important, going forward, that traffic calming goes in.”

The chairperson also noted the ongoing work of volunteers in Ogonnelloe.

“There is a very active community council in the village,” he said. “They’ve done wonderful work and they really deserved the support of the local authority.”

Councillor Cooney also flagged his concerns about traffic and parking provision at Two-Mile Gate where a recently-opened water park facility has been proving hugely popular. “Fantastic work has been done to create this amenity,” he said. “It has really drawn in visitors and that is very much appreciated. It’s a credit to everyone involved. There have been some issues in respect of traffic and parking and this is something the council has agreed to look at.”

The Cathaoirleach recently tabled a motion at a meeting of the Killaloe Municipal District calling for traffic mangement and other issues in Ogonnelloe and Ballycuggeran to be addressed. The motion was seconded by Councillor Tony O’Brien who agreed action is needed. “There is a major problem with speeding between Ogonnelloe and Killaloe,” he said. “In respect of Two-Mile Gate, I agree 100%. It is a great natural resource and it’s our equivalent of Lahinch, Killaoe or the Cliffs of Moher. It’s really fantastic to see people thronging the place and it is immaculately kept, thanks to everyone responsible. At peak times, however, there is traffic abandoned all over the place. I really wouldn’t like to see an accident detracting from all of the fantastic work done in the area.”

Councillor Pat Burke was also supportive of the motion. “A great success has been made of the Two-Mile Gate amenity by local authority,” he said. “That brings its own challenges. There is traffic double parked on busy evenings. Success brings challenges. Going forward, extra land may have to be acquired for parking. There is a really unbelievable number of people there when the sun shines.”

Councillor Cooney agreed that people are now more aware of the amenities available locally. “It is wonderful that people have gotten to appreciate their own community and the local areas,” he said. The chairperson also welcomed a written response from Senior Executive Engineer (SEE) Niamh Madden who said a meeting would be held with volunteers in Ogonnelloe.

“In relation to Ogonelloe, Clare County Council will be meeting with the community group towards the end of the summer with a view to putting together a safety scheme or Active Travel scheme that could potentially be funded in the future,” Ms Madden’s written reply stated. “Regarding Two-Mile-Gate, Clare County Council recognises that there will be growth in this amenity area over the next few years. This means that the Council will need to review the current situation. Any traffic calming scheme at this location will require a reduction in the speed limit and we hope to further this through the next countywide speed limit review.”

 

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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