By Catherine Ketch
One distraught resident on the N22 wondered recently: ‘Do I have to marry a Healy Rae to get crash barriers here?’
Adrienne Acton’s property at Coolavokig has been hit three times in the space of 14 months by crashing motorists. She and others, on a stretch of N22 known as the ‘bad bends’, can only look on in envy at their Kerry neighbours on the improved Loo Bridge to Kilgarvan road, lined with crash barriers.
A timber truck overturned in October 2013 crushing the wall just metres from Adrienne’s front door. In spring 2014, Adrienne ended up administering first aid to two people who crashed into the opposite side of the property.
‘By the time the second accident happened the rubble hadn’t even been removed from the other accident,’ she said. In a third accident, just four weeks ago, a pillar was clipped by the top of a truck. While she acknowledges that crash barriers would not have prevented any of the above accidents, they would make her and her son feel a little safer.
In all, she has counted 11 accidents in nine years believing that most are not recorded officially. She has requested crash barriers and a full health and safety review of that section of the N22.
‘Every time there’s an accident, there’s a part of me thinks, if somebody dies in this will I have done enough?’
Macroom office of Cork County Council (CCC) said that they are committed to reviewing Adrienne’s situation, but have no definite timeline for work.
Garda Sergeant Con Lynch in Ballyvourney liaises with the Council regarding frequent accident spots.
He said work was being considered at two locations – one in Coolavokig where a spate of accidents culminated in a serious accident in December, and another at Coolnacaheragh. Sgt Lynch welcomed works which he expects will be carried out during 2015. Resurfacing is planned for the Kerry side of Baile Bhúirne village, he said.
The Council told The Southern Star that ‘there is not, as such, a specific review of the N22 between the Halfway and Ballymakeera.’
‘The NRA and local authority carry out periodic reviews of the road network. From time to time, the gardaí or members of the public raise concerns with the NRA and/ or the local authority. Where engineering works are considered necessary, the local authority prepares the proposed schemes and they are funded by the NRA, as and when required, depending on available government funding,’ the spokesperson said.
They also referred to the proposed new N22 which has received NRA funding to progress to land purchase.
‘I should go down to Kerry, marry one of the Healy Raes and drag him back over the border here to Cork, and we’d get something done finally,’ Adrienne suggested.