A COUNTY councillor has likened Oliver Goldsmith’s poem The Deserted Village to Castleconnell because of a lack of signage.
“The village itself is far from deserted – but it has been deserted by the National Roads Authority,” says Cllr Michael Sheahan. At a local area meeting he added that Castleconnell is “a beautiful tourist location and the community are working very, very hard to advance it as a tourist destination”.
The Monaleen man produced 24 photographs at the meeting of NRA signs he had taken himself northbound and southbound on the M7 and the R494.
“Twice in 24 signs is there a mention of Castleconnell. When you travel on the motorway from Cork heading towards the Finnegan’s exit there are numerous blue exit warning signs with references to Castletroy, Newport and Limerick City but only one mentions Castleconnell.
“If you miss that one reference to Castleconnell, which is more than 2kms from the exit, then you must continue on the motorway to Birdhill,” said Cllr Sheahan.
He says as you approach the Birdhill exit (R494) Newport, Birdhill, Killaloe / Ballina are signposted but not Castleconnell.
“The two roundabouts on the Birdhill flyover have no mention of Castleconnell either. The same difficulty arises for people coming from Dublin trying to access Castleconnell.
“All you see is Birdhill, Ballina and Killaloe on the R494 – why is there no mention of Castleconnell? The one reference is on the roundabout when you are past it.” He adds that Birdhill has a brown tourist sign on the M7 but Castleconnell doesn’t.
Cllr Sheahan asks why Tipperary and Clare towns are so prominent on all the signs compared to Castleconnell, which is the nearest village to that stretch of motorway.
Cllr Brigid Teefy agreed that the picturesque village with many amenities and attractions is very badly signposted.
Cllr Sheahan has handed over the 24 photographs to Paul Crowe, Limerick County Council director of transportation and water services. “Paul Crowe has agreed that if we had issues with the NRA he would arrange a meeting,” said Cllr Sheahan.