Cllr Eddie Ryan, chair of Cappamore-Kilmallock municipal district
CLLR EDDIE Ryan says motorists “take their lives in their hands every day” at Beary’s and O’Rourke’s crosses.
During a deputation to the Transport Infrastructure of Ireland (TII) councillors from the Cappamore-Kilmallock municipal district will impress upon staff the need for roundabouts and improvement works at the two locations.
Cllr Eddie Ryan, chairman, said: “They are two of the most dangerous junctions in the county.”
O’Rourke’s Cross is on the N20 – main Limerick to Cork road – and links Newcastle West with Kilmallock on the Bruff line. There is also a busy petrol station.
Beary’s Cross connects the N24 Limerick to Waterford road and the R513 through Caherconlish and onto Mitchelstown.
“Coming from the Caherconlish side I had reason to turn right at Beary’s cross recently, heading towards Boher. I use that road four times a week.
“Literally, it was a dart for my life to get across the road because you have to have the two sides clear to go across and turn right. It is deadly. We are fighting for the health and safety of the people of our area,” said Cllr Ryan.
The Galbally man says the same can be said for O’Rourke’s Cross.
”It is a miracle, thankfully, that there aren’t more serious accidents at both locations,” said Cllr Ryan.
Former Bruff superintendent, Alan Cunningham; Cllr Mike Donegan and fellow councillors led a campaign for a speed limit at O’Rourke’s Cross, which was introduced in 2013.
But now that the economy has improved councillors are hoping to get funding for roundabouts at the two locations in south and east Limerick.
At the last municipal area meeting a presentation was given to councillors by staff from the Mid-West National Road Design Office. It was the unanimous decision of the members that we would focus only on these two projects. They would cost approximately, with land acquisition and so, €2 million each. We are not going to get seven or eight wishes anyway so we decided to focus on these two,” said Cllr Ryan, who expects the deputation to meet TII, formerly the NRA, officials in the coming weeks.
Cllr Ryan says over €100,000 has been spent on researching and preparing the detailed plans by the Mid-West National Roads Design Office. Maps are are being posted to local landowners.
He lists the example of the roundabout at Morrison’s on the Ballysimon Road.
“That works very well. It doesn’t interfere with the Tipperary road traffic – you are rarely held there,” said Cllr Ryan, who was part of a group of councillors that secured €563,000 for traffic calming measures as part of the N24 Dromkeen scheme.
“They gave us a good hearing and they were favourable to us. We succeeded there and that was in much worse times. They only had peanuts then - I think they only had €1.9 million and we got over half a million for Dromkeen,” said Cllr Ryan.
The bottom line, he says, is that O’Rourke’s and Beary’s are busy and dangerous crosses and improvements will “reduce the possibility of road deaths”.
“There are more trucks and cars on our roads and this should be matched with extra investment,” he concluded.