10 Aug 2022

Lack of footpath in Offaly town is 'playing Russian roulette' with lives of children

Lack of footpath in Offaly town is 'playing Russian roulette' with lives of children

Lack of footpath in Offaly town is 'playing Russian roulette' with lives of children

Schoolchildren in an Offaly town have to walk on a road as they go to and from school.

Councillor Ken Smollen repeated his call for a footpath between Heather Grove and Garan an Chaisleain in Clara, at this month’s Tullamore Municipal District meeting.

"I have said it before it is only a matter of time before an accident happens there. There is no footpath for children coming from Heather Grove going towards the school, they have to walk on the roadway. Is there anything that can be done about that?’’ he asked.

In response Senior Executive Engineer John Connelly said "the difficulty is the area is on a development site. If we put a footpath there we would have to put in a retaining wall and really we would have to move into a private site to do that.

Cllr Smollen responded saying, "I can't understand how planning was approved for these housing estates especially when the danger to children there is so obvious And it's not only one or two children there, it's full housing estates with no footpath to walk on for kids going to school. It's extremely dangerous. It's like playing Russian roulette with the lives of children. A footpath has to be put there, unless a bus is going to be provided for them. They have to walk there for a considerable length.’’

Mr Connelly explained saying, "a housing estate was put in the middle of two others and there was no footpath in that gap.’’ He said "it would not be a simple job to put in a footpath and it would be a very expensive one. There are overhead wires that would have to be retained.”

Mr Connelly believes that when the land is developed a footpath will be put in there.

Councillor Frank Moran agreed with Cllr Smollen that a footpath is badly needed. He asked if a temporary walking track could be put in.

Cllr Moran maintained that the area has been dezoned.

"It’s not for zoning for the next five years. There will be no activity on that particular piece of land. There will be no development, you know that and I know that,’’ he said.

Mr Connelly agreed to take a look to see if some type of solution could be found.

"Maybe not a perfect one but something,’’ he concluded.

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