The Kerryman (Tralee Edition) - - NEWS -

THE head­line sums up the views of Kiltallagh Na­tional School Prin­ci­pal Paula Ní Bhri­ain this week fol­low­ing news that Trans­port In­fra­struc­ture Ire­land (TII) has al­lo­cated al­most €40,000 for works in­clud­ing the re­moval of a hedge on the Tralee side of the school, aim­ing to im­prove vis­i­bil­ity near the school.

The na­tional school is lo­cated on the N70, the main road be­tween Tralee and Castlemaine, a few hun­dred me­tres be­fore en­ter­ing Castlemaine vil­lage. Ms Ní Bhri­ain ex­plained to The Ker­ry­man that the hedge, which is on a bend di­rectly be­fore the school, “to­tally blocks off vis­i­bil­ity of the school com­ing from the Tralee side.

“We’ve cam­paigned for this for years, and we’re very lucky and grate­ful for this news,” she said. “The school is to­tally blocked off from driv­ers com­ing from the Tralee side, and the bend also makes pulling out from the school, the com­mu­nity cen­tre, and the soc­cer grounds very dif­fi­cult.

“But this only takes out one part of the prob­lem. I would say most cars driv­ing along this road are go­ing over the speed limit [50 kilo­me­tres per hour], and if any­thing they might drive faster once this ditch is taken out of the equa­tion.

“We think LED speed signs would be a strong de­ter­rent, and we’d like to see them in­stalled near the school as part of this project. Our chil­dren’s safety is our num­ber one con­cern, and we need to ad­dress the prob­lem in full.

“But this is good news, and I’d like to thank ev­ery­one who helped bring this about, in­clud­ing Coun­cil­lor John Fran­cis Flynn for spear­head­ing this on our be­half and landowner John Joe Lad­den.”

Fianna Fáil Coun­cil­lor John Fran­cis Flynn wel­comed the news and said that the work, which he hopes can take place dur­ing the mid-term break in over a month’s time “will im­prove the sight­line by about 100 me­tres” – but he re­it­er­ated Ms Ní Bhri­ain’s con­cerns about speed.

“We can ex­pect a big im­prove­ment in driv­ing con­di­tions once that ditch is out of there and a wall is put in fur­ther in from the road,” he said. “The ditch is be­tween the Com­mu­nity Cen­tre and the school, so it will ben­e­fit ev­ery­one’s view com­ing out from the cen­tre as well – but it will help ev­ery­one in Castlemaine, which is only a few hun­dred me­tres from this lo­ca­tion.

“My hope now is to see LED speed sig­nage put on the road to try and de­ter peo­ple from speed­ing, and I’ll con­tinue to cam­paign for that. But I’m happy with the progress we’ve made so far, and I’d like to thank John Joe Lad­den for his co­op­er­a­tion and those at the coun­cil who’ve helped us.”

Kerry County Coun­cil said it will con­sider elec­tronic speed signs fur­ther in con­sul­ta­tion with TII.

Photo by Michelle Cooper Galvin

Cllr John Fran­cis Flynn with John Joe Lad­den, Prin­ci­pal Paula Ní Bhrian, teacher Caro­line Cronin, SNA Deirdre O’Sul­li­van, par­ents Co­lette Boyle, Katie and Jerry O’Neil, Ali­son Fla­herty, Sinead O’Shea and some of the pupils at Kiltallagh Na­tional...

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