by Alan Jacques
That’s the claim made by concerned parents who have asked councillors from Adare-Rathkeale municipal district to help improve conditions at the primary school which has 139 pupils.
Representatives from the school’s parents council told councillors last week that due to lack of proper parking, poor visibility and absence of a footpath they now fear that a tragedy is imminent unless urgent action is taken to address the danger.
“We can’t provide safety for our children, which is both terrifying and heartbreaking,” concerned mother Caroline Reidy told the local authority.
“Our children exit directly onto the road from the school, where cars reverse and drive out of spaces directly into the path of children walking. Children are oblivious to dangers and they risk getting killed every time they enter or exit the building,” she said.
“Every child has the right to get in and out of school safely. We do not want a tragedy and there has already been too many near misses. One child got caught between a car and a pillar and parents fear for them all. This has to stop,” Ms Reidy added.
Parents have called for the Council’s help to immediately improve the safety of all children being dropped-off and collected at the school. Measures they would like to see implemented include speed ramps and road signs, speed restrictions during term time, a bus set down area and sufficient car parking.
Independent councillor Emmett O’Brien, who visited the school to see the dangers firsthand, commented, “It is pretty restricted. There is no denying that.”
Sinn Fein councillor Ciara McMahon, who also visited Shanagolden, described the situation at the school as “terrifying”.
“Children have to walk straight out onto the road when they leave the school,” she said.
Fine Gael councillor Stephen Keary called for the “wheels to be put in motion” and funds to be made available to assist the school.
While Mayor of Limerick, Cllr Kevin Sheahan (Fianna Fail) told the parents council that they had councillors’ “unanimous support”.
“We need a plan for the issues in Shanagolden. It must be prepared as quickly as possible with something significant done this year,” he said.