Eileen Fitzgerald holds a picture of her son Anthony, aged 6, who was killed in a car accident in Murroe Picture: Michael Cowhey
A COUNTY Limerick mum whose six year-old son was killed in a car accident said she had to move from her home because she fears a similar incident will happen again.
Eileen Fitzgerald’s son Anthony died on the road outside her home in Ros Fearna, Murroe. He was her “baby boy” as he was the youngest of her six children. Eileen said Anthony, who lost his life in 2012, is on her mind “every day”.
She says cars are continuously “bombing” down the straight stretch of road.
“I can see it happening again. I don't want to see another family going through what we went through,” said Eileen, who has moved to Castletroy in the last month.
“My other son John had two or three near misses walking to school with the speed the cars go up and down there,” she said.
Eileen said she can't even stand on the side of the road to put a bunch of flowers on her son’s plaque.
“The speed the cars go at... My daughter Kathleen was at the plaque a few months ago. She was putting flowers there. We go there on his anniversaries and special occasions like Christmas or Halloween.
“A van nearly knocked her down. She had to actually jump on top of my boy's plaque to avoid getting hit by the van coming up the road. It was flying. She couldn’t even get the registration plate,” said Eileen.
She is worried that one of her children or somebody else’s will be killed.
“I'm not living in Murroe anymore. I moved because I couldn't hack it. How many kids go across that road to school every morning? It’s just what I feel when I see the cars speeding up and down and the kids crossing the road – my nerves were shattered.
“I often see kids out playing and I think ‘oh my God’. My heart would just stop for a beat knowing what happened to my son and seeing these boys playing. It’s a massive estate and there are a lot of kids there,” said Eileen, who now drops John to school as she doesn’t want him walking. Eileen said there is a flashing speed sign but motorists don’t pay any heed to it.
“The speed limit is 50kmph but they go past at 80kms or 90kms. The only way to slow down traffic is ramps. There are no ramps on the stretch where my little boy was killed,” said Eileen. Cllr Lisa Marie Sheehy raised this issue at a number of Cappamore-Kilmallock municipal district meetings in 2016. A council official said that they spent a lot of money on the speed radar signs, repairing the fence and putting in a footpath outside Ros Fearna.
“We have done as much as we can outside ramps. We don’t have ramps on roads in rural parts. I accept ramps would slow down traffic but it is a precedent. At the moment we are not allowed to put them on roads. We are allowed to do it in estates where children are playing in green areas. We are waiting for policy on the issue,” said the council official in 2016.
However, the council’s traffic calming policy was passed early in 2018 which means that there is now a unified procedure across the city and county to follow with traffic calming.
Cllr Sheehy stated that she will be pushing hard for ramps or a raised pedestrian crossing to be included in the 2019 municipal budget of Cappamore-Kilmallock.
“This family has gone through so much and they are petrified another life will be lost on this section of road. Ramps will save lives and start the healing process for the family,” said Cllr Sheehy.