ROADS in certain parts of County Limerick “are as bad as they were back in the ‘50s when horse and cart was the main means of transport” according to a local councillor.
Galbally-based Cllr Eddie Ryan has called on Limerick County Council to provide emergency funding for the roads in the south east of the Kilmallock area, damaged due to above average rainfall.
“There are five, six, seven roads between Galbally, Anglesboro, Kilbehenny and parts of Glenroe that are worse now than they were in the 1950s and that is not an exaggeration,” said Cllr Ryan.
“There are in a scandalous state,” he said.
While acknowledging that there has been some “excellent work” carried out by the road section of the council in the Kilmallock area over the past three and a half years, Cllr Ryan said a number of roads need immediate attention.
“Two roads in Kilbehenny are as bad as they were back in the ‘50s when horse and cart was the main means of transport. At a recent meeting of the Kilmallock area councillors, where these roads were discussed it was stated that the estimated cost of these works would be €498,000. This in itself states the severity of the problem,” he added. Locals living at Lackendarragh, Anglesborough, he said, have in the past, had to leave their car at the bottom of the road and walk home.
Ken Hughes who resides at Garryvurragha, Kilbehenny said the upper section of the road on which he lives has been almost “washed away”.
“I rescued three ladies from it in the last two months with my jeep. They didn’t know where they were going and got stuck and had to be towed back out,” Mr Hughes explained.
“I live half way up this particular road. My farm is completely cut off from large scale deliveries. I am trying to build a shed and I can’t get a cement lorry up to deliver hard core. That has been the same for nine months. I have lower vehicle access from below so my car and jeep can get up that way but the reality is anything I need to do on the farm, I can’t do,” said Mr Hughes.
The farmers in the area, he said, were unable to use the roads when spreading slurry and instead had to travel alternative routes. “They have to use other roads, so instead of going on a 10 minute journey down the road, it is a half an hour journey each way and when you are trying to spread 20 tanks of slurry in a day – that adds up pretty fast.”
At one point, out of frustration, Mr Hughes contemplated organising a delivery of hard core to the Kilmallock area office car park “to pour it across it, just to make my point”.
“From a practical point of view, I have basically been held to ransom for the last nine months by Limerick County Council in terms of what I can and can’t do on the farm. It’s very frustrating. With property tax coming down the line, I don’t think any of us would be able to pay that - why would we when something as basic as the roads to our farms are being ignored. Obviously we know budgets are a problem but when the road actually can’t be used, I don’t quite understand that,” he said. A delegation from the Kilbehenny area are to attend the next local area meeting in Kilmallock to outline their concerns.