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Achill road collapse

Rain leads to Achill road collapse

Anton McNulty

THE torrential rain in the county over the weekend resulted in part of a road in Achill collapsing because a drain flowing along the road was unable to take the excess water.
According to one local councillor, the flooding is a result of a lack of proper maintenance of the county’s drains.
Local Cllr Michéal McNamara told The Mayo News the road was identified as an area prone to flooding, but because the Council’s maintenance budget for drains has decreased in recent years, it appears that necessary repair works were not carried out.
“The maintenance budget does not appear to stretch as far as it used to and I do not know why that is the case. Any of the drainage you see is because of the money the councillors have made available to it. In some cases where it is particularly serious the Council do the maintenance work,” said Cllr McNamara.
The incident occurred on Sunday afternoon along a non-national road at the junction of the Currane/Achill road at Polranny. It is understood that the gully along the road was unable to take the large volume of water and it flooded onto the road. Up to two metres of the road verge collapsed and significantly weakened the road.
The area where the flooding occurred has long been susceptible to flooding and, according to Cllr McNamara, only the alertness of the local people averted a serious accident.
“The Council engineers were out looking at it today [Monday] and they will have to put a larger gully in there. But for the alertness of the local people in contacting me, which led me to call out the Council standby team, there could have been a serious accident. It is in an area where there is no public lighting and it is a narrow junction,” said Cllr McNamara.
The heavy downpour also resulted in the closure of the N59 National Secondary Road at Ballycroy. Council officials closed the road at approximately half past five on Sunday evening and traffic had to be re-directed down by-roads for a number of hours until the flooding receded. This section of the road has flooded on a number of occasions as the road level is lower than the surrounding area.