A section of motorway between Gort and Crusheen is steadily gaining an unwelcome reputation as an accident blackspot – and now a safety audit has been demanded.
The motorway was closed for a two week period during the month of August as the National Roads Authority carried out works. But these works have been described as insufficient with, instead, a major realignment suggested.
Local FF councillor Gerry Finnerty said that the NRA just resurfaced three small sections of the motorway on either side.
“None of them are any longer than 100 metres,” he said.
And he described the recent closure of the section of motorway as just a public relations stunt on the part of the National Roads Authority.
“There have been countless accidents on this section of the motorway motorists often ploughing into the crash barriers during wet days so there is obviously a problem with the surface,” Cllr. Finnerty said.
He said that he was now going to raise the matter at this month’s meeting of Galway County Council as it was obvious that a safety audit needed to be carried out.
The Gort-based councillor said that this section of motorway was closed on a regular basis in order to clear away accidents that regularly occur.
“Since this stretch of motorway opened a number of accidents have occurred and many calls have been made by me to carry out a safety audit which I believe was done and but I did not receive the report on this.
“During the closure just three short stretches on either side were resurfaced none of them any longer than 100 and as short as 30 metres. And it created mayhem in Galway because was one of the busiest times of the year,” Cllr. Finnerty added.
He says that one of the main problems with the motorway is that it retains surface water for much longer than it should and this could possibly be a cause of so many accidents occurring.
“For a two week closure you would expect major realignment but this has not happened. I will now be putting down a notice of motion question for this month’s meeting of Galway County Council as to what money was spent by the NRA,” he added.
Gardaí bid to identify body recovered near Mutton Island
Gardai have launched an investigation following the discovery of a body in Galway Bay yesterday afternoon.
A member of the public raised the alarm after spotting the body in the water while walking on the causeway to Mutton Island.
Galway Fire Service, Gardai and the RNLI attended the scene and recovered the body at around 4pm, before it was taken to University Hospital Galway for a post mortem.
It is understood that the body may have been in the water for some time.
Gardaí are currently examining a list of missing people in the city.
Gardaí investigate fatal Carraroe crash
A man in his 30s has died following a road crash in Carraroe in the early hours of this morning.
At 3.50am, Gardaí and emergency services attended at a single car collision on a minor road.
The driver of the car, a man in his 30s, was pronounced dead at the scene a short time later. A passenger in the car, a male in his 30s, was taken by ambulance to Galway University Hospital. His injuries are not thought to be life threatening.
The road is currently closed and local diversions are in place. Garda forensic collision investigators will examine the crash site this morning.
Land Development Agency rules out Merlin ‘land grab’
From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Campaigners have warned the Land Development Agency (LDA) to keep its hands off Merlin Woods.
Local community group Friends of Merlin Woods said that the amenity on the east side of the city is not suitable for residential development.
It has sought clarification on whether the LDA has earmarked part of the recreational and amenity lands for housing, after it appeared on its online database of publicly-owned lands.
In a statement to the Galway City Tribune, the LDA said its database compiles a list of all State lands, not just land for development.
In relation to Merlin Woods, the LDA said: “Those lands aren’t included in the LDA developments in Galway. The lands database is a map-based tool which compiles all State lands and has no reflection on development potential.”
It came after Caroline Stanley of Friends of Merlin Woods raised concern that land within Merlin Woods had been earmarked for development.
“I’d be concerned that it’s marked as residential when it’s in RA (Recreational and Amenity) land. Some is marked ‘open space’ but some is marked as ‘new proposed residential’ on its [LDA’s] database. It makes us wonder why. We’d like clarity and to clear it up.
“The message we’d like to get out there is we need clarification, whether it’s a mistake on the Land Development Agency’s part, or whether it is an area that they consider as a residential area, which the community would be opposed to. We need clarity. It could be something that is in line for development later on, we don’t know, and we need clarity.”
Councillor Owen Hanley explained that the fears around Merlin Woods stem from legislation currently making its way through the Oireachtas that would strip councillors of powers to veto the transfer of land to the LDA for housing projects.
The Bill would also allow Government to direct what public lands – including those owned by local authorities – can be transferred to the LDA for development of social and affordable housing.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.