Cookies on The Southern Star website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. We also use cookies to ensure we show you advertising that is relevant to you. If you continue without changing your settings, we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies on the The Southern Star website. However, if you would like to, you can change your cookie settings at any time by amending your browser settings.
How does The Southern Star use cookies?
Cookies enable us to identify your device, or you when you have logged in. We use cookies that are strictly necessary to enable you to move around the site or to provide certain basic features. We use cookies to enhance the functionality of the website by storing your preferences, for example. We also use cookies to help us to improve the performance of our website to provide you with a better user experience.
We dont sell the information collected by cookies, nor do we disclose the information to third parties, except where required by law (for example to government bodies and law enforcement agencies).
Hide Message
  • News

N71 into West Cork is like the drive ‘into Damascus’

Thursday, 15th December, 2016 7:10am

Story by Kieran O'Mahony
N71 into West Cork  is like the drive ‘into Damascus’

Cllrs Gillian Coughlan queried the response of the Transport Minister regarding the N71

THE lack of funding being afforded to the N71 has led one councillor to describe the main route into West Cork as like ‘driving into Damascus’. 

At a meeting of Cork County Council last week, councillors expressed their disappointment with a reply from Minister for Transport Shane Ross regarding a Council-backed letter calling for the reclassification of the N71 to National Primary Road status.

The reply stated that ‘the reclassification of the N71 will be considered as part of this process that is currently on-going’.

Cllr Rachel McCarthy (SF) said she was disappointed with the ‘vagueness’ of the reply from Minister Ross.

‘Considering the number of accidents on this route, the reply is disappointing and I just hope that visitors driving into West Cork don’t think they’re driving into Damascus,’ said Cllr McCarthy, who also said the Council should write back to the Department.

Her fellow Sinn Féin colleague, Cllr Paul Hayes, also noted the vagueness of the reply and pointed out there was no timeline given for any consideration of the reclassification of the route.

Cllr Gillian Coughlan (FF) agreed that the Council should write back and ask exactly what the process is in relation to reclassification.

‘The derisory tone of the letter should also be commented on, too. The N71 is grossly underfunded and it needs to be upgraded and we urgently need this in West Cork,’ said Cllr Coughlan.  Another councillor pointed out that reclassifying the route isn’t an issue and that it’s more a case that there is no funding going into this secondary route. He pointed out that the Department is ignoring the route to West Cork ‘full stop’.

Cllr Mary Hegarty (FG) said the N71 is in need of a huge upgrade and said it is one link that must get priority. Chief executive of Cork County Council Tim Lucey said that the Council does not have a direct input into the periodic reviews of routes, which is the responsibility of Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII). 

However, County Mayor Cllr Seamus McGrath (FF) said the Council would write back to the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport and tell them that it’s a funding issue and not just a classification one.

Keep up-to-date with the latest news from around the county with a Southern Star epaper subscription. Click here for more