Sun, Feb
25 New Articles

Turlough bridge saga continues

Turlough Bridge saga continues

Áine Ryan

THE TURLOUGH Bridge saga caused a heated debate once again at last week’s Castlebar Electoral Area Committee meeting when outspoken Cllr Frank Durcan repeatedly asked council executives if they had the money to carry out essential repair works.
The area’s other Independent councillor, Michael Kilcoyne, agreed that clarification was necessary.
A deputation of local residents from the village of Turlough attended the meeting where Senior Engineer, Patsy Bourke, confirmed tenders for the works had been received and forwarded to their consultants.
Director of Services, Seamus Granahan said: “If the tender process runs smoothly the work should start within a few weeks. We have prioritised this project and are committed to proceeding with it.”
Intervening, Cllr Durcan asked: “Have you got the money for the works from the department? Can you issue instructions to the contractor?”
Responding, Mr Granahan said: “When I get the report back from the consultants I will consider it and start the process of appointing a contractor.”
Cllr Durcan argued that ‘there was not a hope in hell of work starting before next April on the bridge once the flood waters rose’.
Chairman, Cllr Blackie Gavin observed that it ‘was very unfair that the people of Turlough were forced to come to these meetings again and again’ in order to progress the situation.
“I said a long time ago that our own staff could have carried out these works,” Cllr Gavin said.
The 120-year-old Turlough Bridge has been closed for over three years, adding three to four miles to residents’ journeys.
At an area committee meeting earlier in the summer, one local told The Mayo News that the protracted bridge closure has had a negative impact on tourism.  
“It is a straight run to the N5, and is the original entrance to Turlough. It is beside Turlough House and the round tower, major tourist attractions. There has been huge confusion among tourists, who don’t know how to access these places,” the local resident said.

HAVE YOUR SAY email aineryan@mayonews.ie with your comments