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Road safety nightmare for residents in central Mayo community

Story by Tom Shiel

Sunday, 19th March, 2017 1:46pm

Road safety nightmare for residents in central Mayo community

Three local men examine the damage caused to a flowing display by a crashing vehicle.

NIGHT and day, fears over road safety stalks the community of Ardboley, Balla.

You could see the anxiety, etched like tyre tread, on the anxious faces of the dozen or so residents who gathered at the junction of the Ardboley road with the N60 to meet me last week.

They stood among the debris of the latest collision at the junction - a mangled bumper, dislocated hub caps, a twisted 13 MO front number plate.

The car that came barrelling off the N60 from the Claremorris direction in the early hours some weeks ago left a shocking trail of wreckage.

The driver lost control on the bend and by the time he/she ended up in a field, three attractively built concrete flowerbeds had been demolished, the shrubs sent flying, and a gaping hole punched in what locals call 'Flanagan's Wall'.

Michael Carney, who arranged that the group meet The Connaught Telegraph, spoke wearily.

"Accidents like this have been happening for years. It's a miracle nobody has been killed. We're sick talking to politicians. They've done nothing despite our pleadings over decades."

Seamus Dempsey interjected: "I have a letter at home from the county council informing me that an engineer would be out. That was 1996. He never came. It's high time this carnage was stopped before somebody is killed. They'll take action when it's too late."

The right turnoff for Ardboley is located about a mile from Balla on the Claremorris road.

Resident Tim Lavin feels the safety situation would be much improved if the speed limit sign was moved out the road to Claremorris, beyond the bend where so many vehicles frequently veer out of control.

"You can plough along here (on the main road) at 100 kmph, no bother," said Mr. Lavin. "Years ago the speed limit sign was located at the junction. Now it's 150 metres nearer the village. Certainly, somebody will be killed. It's not if, but when."

Displaying a fingertip, Michael Carney explained: "At least five times I went within that much of an accident as I was turning right (from the N60 onto the Ardboley road). It's a nightmare."

Peter Dempsey, Michael Gannon and Dympna Lavin were others to voice strong opinions. Anger and worry was evident when Dympna spoke, her voice rising.

"We don't know why the people of Ardboley and the Claremorris road are less important than the other side of town (Balla) where there are footpaths and proper signposts."

To the council powers that be she directed this plea: "Please, please do something about this."

Over to you, Mayo County Council, members of Castlebar Municipal District and road safety officer Noel Gibbons.


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