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Potholes and perilous drops


PERILOUS A large section of verge at Garvey’s Point in Pollathomas collapsed into the sea leaving very little room for motorists.

Dangerous road axed from Wild Atlantic Way, while other roads pose serious risks for users

Anton McNulty

A ROAD in Achill heading to the Minaun Cliffs has been taken off the Wild Atlantic Way route because it regularly floods and it has 17 potholes over a 100m stretch, according to a local councillor.
The terrible state of local and rural roads was discussed at length at last week’s monthly meeting of the West Mayo Municipal District with the number of potholes appearing over the winter vexing councillors. Several of the councillors argued that local roads were being neglected by Mayo County Council.
Achill councillor Paul McNamara claimed that a road in Dookinella on Achill Island was so bad it has been taken off the Wild Atlantic Way route. He also expressed concern for the safety of Dookinella residents who must drive through long stretches of flood water while driving in darkness. He pointed out that the potholes are so bad that a 4x4 jeep suffered a puncture on one of them and called on the Council to resolve the problems.
“I know there has been ongoing problems with the flooding on that road, but in my opinion it is at a crisis point now. It is a health and safety hazard. I had numerous calls right through the Christmas on that road. It was flooded for nearly 100m.
“If something is not done about that stretch of road to try to get the flood of water off the road, there is going to be a serious fatality. We all know what happened in September 2015 in the torrid of rain when the gentleman [Rev Roger Grainger] lost his life in Dugort in the flash flood. We don’t want a repeat episode. People should not have to get up and wonder will they have to go through a flood or have their cars damaged trying to get to work,” he said.
Down the drain?
The OPW previously granted Mayo County Council €45,000 to solve the problem by opening a new drain through private lands towards the sea. However, the councillors were informed that an agreement to access lands could not be reached.
While accepting this, Cllr McNamara and Independent councillor Michael Holmes both stated that the Council is responsible for the condition of roads and it needs to ‘take the bull by the horns’ and find another solution. Both asked for an update on an alternative discharge for the water for the next meeting.
Mayo County Council Senior Engineer Padraig Walsh accepted that the Council is responsible for the maintenance of the roads. He said alternative solutions had been examined but none were feasible given the space available.

Cliff edge exposed
Westport councillor Brendan Mulroy stated that water lying on the roads was the problem. He pointed out that roads in Kilmeena and Fahy were in a terrible condition, while he questioned how the new stretch of the Greenway in Kilmeena was being allowed to flood.
Meanwhile Sinn Féin councillor Teresa Whelan expressed concern for the safety of people in Pollathomas after a wall at the side of a cliff collapsed into the sea at an area known as Garvey’s Point at Graughill, Pullathomas. She said the wall had collapsed as the road had been allowed fall into a state of disrepair, and that three metres of the verge has been lost. She pointed out that the road posed a serious danger to children, visitors and locals.
“I am seriously concerned about the collapse of the wall into the side of this cliff in Garvey’s Point. It is an accident waiting to happen for a tourist or indeed any person who may travel down this road, which is accessed by local farmers and kids walking to school,” she said.

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