N24 Limerick to Waterford route is the 'forgotten road'

Donal O'Regan

Reporter:

Donal O'Regan

N24 Limerick to Waterford route is the 'forgotten road'

Deputy Niall Collins, who has raised the N24 in the Dail, on the road in 2011 when there was major disruption due to a bridge being replaced outside Oola

COMPLETING the M20 Limerick to Cork route is in the news every week but upgrading the N24 from the city to Waterford has been forgotten about, say Tipperary councillors.

At January’s meeting of Tipperary County Councill, a motion by Cllrs Eddie O Meara and Kieran Bourke was backed. They requested the council write to the Department of Transport and TII to “seek the prioritisation of the upgrade of the N24 as recommended by the South East Regional Authority`s N24 Prioritisation Study”.

Cllr Bourke highlighted the volume of traffic that travels on the N24 daily and that it isn’t able to handle it.

“I wont say medieval roads but most certainly roads that aren't fit for purpose today,” said Cllr Bourke.

Tragically, he and his family have been personally affected

“In 2006, my eldest daughter was involved in a serious car accident about four miles outside Carrick-on-Suir. She's now in 24 hour care for the rest of her life. We have four full-time carers looking after her as a result of an accident on that road, but I suppose we were the lucky ones because there's been nine fatalities there in the space of 10 years,” said Cllr Bourke. 

There have also been a number of deaths on the stretch from Limerick city to Oola with locals saying the volume of traffic using Beary’s Cross for the R513 means it is an “accident waiting to happen”.

Cllr Bourke says the N24 is the gateway from the Mid-West to the South-East.

“I'm talking about upgrading it to motorway status, and bypassing the various villages and towns such as Pallasgreen, Oola, Tipperary town, the ring road around Clonmel is an absolute disgrace, that's a car park at the best of times.

“Basically what myself and Denis O'Meara are trying to do is get this back on the agenda and get it back on the programme because there is nobody talking about it collectively. What is happening is you have Tipperary Town Council talking about bypassing Tipperary and bypassing Tipperary only. I could just as easily talk about bypassing Carrick-on-Suir and forget about the rest of the N24 that runs through Tipperary, Limerick, Kilkenny and Waterford. If we get together, and if we beat the same drum at the same time to the same rhythm we should be able to move this forward.

“We feel we would have a much stronger lobby if we include Limerick, Tipperary, Kilkenny, Waterford and Wexford Councils. The Oireachtas members in those counties and the county councillors would be a huge lobby force going forward,” said Cllr Bourke.

They have the support of Deputy Niall Collins who recently raised the N24 in the Dail.

“I fully support Tipperary County Council’s endeavours. I called for it to be included as a priority in the Government’s Capital Programme in the Dail. Soon you will have continuous motorway from the north west of the country right down the west coast and we have to link it to the port of Rosslare. The M20 is obviously a priority but equally you have to see the N24 linking city number 3 – Limerick – to city number 5 – Waterford. It is a very busy and dangerous road,” said Deputy Collins.

Joe MacGrath, chief executive of Tipperary County Council, said Cllrs Bourke and O’Meara’s motion was unanimously supported. It was further agreed that the council should liaise with their neighbouring authorities to seek support for this notice of motion.

“Tipperary County Council`s view is that the delivery of the N24 scheme is of economic importance at national, regional and local level. At national level, this infrastructure is of economic significance to linking the gateway cities of Galway, Limerick, Waterford and onward to Rosslare Europort. At regional level, the scheme has the capacity to connect the West, Mid-West and South-East Regions. The regional context for this is strengthened by the forthcoming and welcome completion of the M18 motorway from Gort to Tuam which will provide motorway/dual carriageway connectivity along the western seaboard and therefore provides a stimulus to continuing this connectivity onward to the South East,” said Mr MacGrath.