Long history of filling potholes on the Dingle road
THE long-running saga of the Dingle to Tralee road has been much in the news in recent months, mostly because of An Taisce’s opposition to the €65 million road improvement scheme planned by Kerry County Council.
The environmental watchdog’s reputation is… well in the doghouse, really, because of its save the small road campaign and it’s hard to find anybody with a good word to say for ‘Taisce’ in West Kerry these days.
Had they looked up the archives, An Taisce might have realised that the Dingle road has long since been in need of constant running repairs. They could then have concluded that people would be only too happy to find a lasting cure for the headache, even if it meant severe incursions into the pretty ditches and hedgerows.
For example, while Padraig Pearse was thinking of rebellion, road maintenance was on the mind of the Council in January 1916 when Council clerk J Galvin placed a notice in The Kerryman seeking tenders to keep in repair the following roads for five years:
Dingle to Annascaul, from the cross of Garrynadur to the Railway station at Garrynadur, 50 perches [a perch is 5.03 metres]. Payment per annum £1
Dingle to Annascaul, between Ballinvonnig East and Griffin’s house in John Street with the branches to Garfinny Church and Garrynabrahig. 327 perches. Payment per annum £ 27.
There was work to be done back West as well. Tenders were sought for:
Dingle to Dunquin, between Sayers’ house at Fahan and the northern end of the new road at Coumeenole North, 606 perches. Payment per annum £20.
Dingle to Smerwick, between Ballinloughig cross and Ballylusky cross, 796 perches. Payment per annum £15.
The Council also advertised for some special works to be done. These were:
To make a new 2ft x 2ft gullet to the west of the houses at Keelballylahive on the road between Aughacasla and Glenteenasig, payment £6.
To extend an existing gullet about 50 feet at Ballinagoul (Baile na nGall), and construct a part passage leading to the strand at same point, payment £25.
Tenders were to be lodged in the Tender Box, Boardroom, Workhouse not later than 4 o’clock on Friday 21st of January 1916.