Woman and child’s mirac­u­lous es­cape on death­trap road


The Kerryman (North Kerry) - - NEWS - By DÓNAL NOLAN

A WOMAN and her grand­child (9) sur­vived a ter­ri­fy­ing road crash in the lat­est in­ci­dent on the treach­er­ous Dale/Rathscannell Road in Abbey­dor­ney on Fri­day when their car plunged off the side of the lethal stretch.

It’s an in­ci­dent lead­ing to re­newed calls for im­me­di­ate re­design works of a route now la­belled a ‘death­trap’; and fol­lows a sim­i­lar recent in­ci­dent when tourists went off the road nearby.

Lo­cal Fine Gael County Coun­cil­lor Aoife Thorn­ton says it is im­per­a­tive the road re­ceives fund­ing in Jan­uary’s spe­cial im­prove­ment al­lo­ca­tions - be­fore it is too late.

“Un­for­tu­nately we’ve just wit­nessed yet an­other se­ri­ous ac­ci­dent on the Rathscannell road. Thank­fully the peo­ple in­volved es­caped with­out se­ri­ous in­jury, but lo­cals are won­der­ing what it will take be­fore it is ad­dressed,” Cllr Thorn­ton said.

She met with Min­is­ter Bren­dan Grif­fin on Fri­day on the is­sue and spoke again with him on Sun­day in light of the lat­est in­ci­dent. “He is acutely aware of the dan­ger and se­ri­ous­ness of the sit­u­a­tion, as is Roads Min­is­ter Shane Ross, who walked the worst part of it on his visit in June.”

As of the end of the year, there is still no pos­i­tive word on the fu­ture of a recent ap­pli­ca­tion by Kerry County Coun­cil for fund­ing un­der the spe­cial im­prove­ment grant, how­ever.

“The grant will be al­lo­cated in Jan­uary and in the in­ter­est of en­sur­ing the road se­cures the fund­ing re­quired for the re­design I would im­plore mo­torists to con­tact their lo­cal TDs about the dan­gers they face daily.

“We now know that 6,500 use the road daily so the threat is of grave mag­ni­tude. I’m now seek­ing a meet­ing with Min­is­ter Ross to pre­sent him with the en­tire case file, in­clud­ing crash pho­tos, of the route as se­cur­ing fund­ing for it is my pri­or­ity,” Cllr Thorn­ton said. CON­CERN is mount­ing over pro­posed changes to the cen­tre of Abbey­dor­ney vil­lage that could see vi­tal park­ing spa­ces lost to busi­nesses.

How­ever, an ini­tial plan to in­stall traf­fic lights has been knocked on the head.

The cur­rent pro­posal is now be­fore the pub­lic for con­sid­er­a­tion in a project aim­ing to make the cen­tre of the vil­lage safe. 6,500 daily ve­hic­u­lar through-passes of the vil­lage were logged in a recent sur­vey, which also found the ma­jor­ity trav­el­ling far faster than the 50pkh limit.

It’s hoped the new plans will slow down traf­fic, but The Ker­ry­man un­der­stands there are many - busi­nesses in­cluded - far from happy with what’s pro­posed.

County Coun­cil­lor Aoife Thorn­ton is urg­ing ev­ery­one to make sub­mis­sions on the plan now. “There is an over­whelm­ing need for pub­lic safety mea­sures but en­gi­neers are also look­ing to the in­ter­ests of busi­nesses. It is vi­tally im­por­tant that ev­ery­one with a stake would make sub­mis­sions to the Road De­sign of­fice now ahead of the dead­line for clo­sures on Mon­day, De­cem­ber 3, next,” Cllr Thorn­ton said.

The car at the scene of the week­end’s crash

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