OFFICIAL statistics from the National Road Authority released this week do not reflect the real number of accidents taking place on what local councillors believe is the worst bend on the N69.
According to the NRA, there were just two recorded injury collisions at the bend near Fennessy’s Pub, Barrigone between 2002 and 2010.
“This report is scandalous, absolutely scandalous,” Cllr John Sheahan said at a meeting of Rathkeale area councillors, adding his voice to that of Cllr Kevin Sheahan who also refuted the figures.
Citing the experience at Barna on the N21, Cllrs John Sheahan said it had taken eight deaths and the establishment of a campaign group before the NRA agreed to re-align the road. “Are we going to have to wait until something like that happens in Barrigone?” the Fine Gael councillor demanded.
Earlier, Cllr Kevin Sheahan, who raised the matter, said a great number of the collisions at this particular bend were not being reported. “Ask the neighbours,” he declared. ”It is a common occurrence for them to hear a bang. They are pulling people out of the ditch on a regular basis.”
And he gave the example of a recent accident in which, he said, a car flipped over on to its roof, went flying through the air, over another vehicle and taking with it the roof sign of a Garda Traffic Corps jeep. “That is an example of what spurred me to raise this,” he said.
But nobody in authority, in the NRA, seems to want to do anything about it, he complained.
Serious traffic calming measures needed to be put in place at the bend where there is also a junction, he argued. And he believed the true level of incidents there had not been investigated properly. He called for a proper survey to be undertaken by the NRA, beginning with people who live in the vicinity. “I am going to wage war on this,” he pledged.
“A loss of life is sometimes the barometer we go by,” Cllr John Sheahan said. “But somebody should be able to do a study as to how dangerous a bend is.”
A full version of this story was published in the Limerick Leader, print edition, dated April 14, 2012