At a special meeting on roads in County Hall last Monday, public representatives acquiesced that more manpower and funding is needed to address the appalling condition of roads in County Limerick.
Council Cathaoirleach John Sheahan (FG) told council members that the condition of roads has become a major problem in the wake of the unprecedented floods of recent weeks.
According to Cllr Liam Galvin (FG) surface water on roads in the aftermath of the downpours was the number one issue and he called for a plan to address it.
Cllr Brigid Teefy (IND) drew attention to the potholes on roads in the county and described conditions as “appalling”. She called for extra staff and funding to address the issues.
Cllr Damien Riedy (FG) said the council needed to adapt to the new weather phenomenon we are currently experiencing. He also spoke of a particular pothole which had been in situ so long in County Limerick that it had almost become an attraction.
“You can see it on Google Maps. It’s a landmark now,” said Cllr Riedy.
“There are potholes that are too bad to fix. These roads need to be reconstructed. This is very serious and its time for a new directive,” he added.
Cllr Noel Gleeson (FF) also proposed the hiring of more outdoor staff. “A stitch in time saves nine,” he said.
According to Cllr Patrick Fitzgerald (IND), the local roads office in Croom had “disintegrated” in the last number of years going from a healthy staff of 45 to just four today.
“Staffing is the most important issue and there has to be a major increase in this area,” he demanded.
Cllr Leo Walsh (FG) suggested that Council wait “until the dust settles” to assess the damage caused to roads by recent flooding.
“Two years ago during the big freeze we ran out of salt for the roads. Now we have sheds full of the stuff. We need to learn from that,” he said.
Director of transportation Paul Crowe agreed that more staff and funding was needed. “They are inextricably linked. They go hand in hand,” he explained.
He went on to tell councillors that it would be a number of weeks before the local authority could assess the full extent of the damage caused by the floods and storms.