by Alan Jacques
SINN Féin councillor for Cappamore-Kilmallock, Lisa Marie Sheehy is to bring a motion before this months’s meeting of Limerick City and County Council calling on Transport Minister Paschal Donohoe to pass a law dedicated to a six year-old boy who died after being knocked down in a Kilkenny housing estate.
An amendment to the Road Traffic Bill restricting the speed limit in housing estates to 20 km per hour was debated in the Dáil last week but Minister Paschal Donohoe said he would leave it with local authorities to decide speed limits in their own catchment areas.
The Sinn Féin sponsored private members bill was prompted by the parents of Jake Brennan, who died in his mother’s arms after being hit by a car outside his home in Linton Grove, Kilkenny last June.
However Cllr Sheehy’s motion, if passed by the city and county council, will call on Minister Donohoe to implement to 20k/p/h limit.
Cllr Sheehy explained, “The purpose of the motion is to ensure that Jake’s Law is not lost or buried in an Oireachtas committee. It must be kept high on the political agenda.”
“The objective is to introduce a level of safety to those housing estates in which children live, play chasing, kick football, hurl and ride their bicycles.
“It deserves the full and active support of the government and the Minister for Transport. Fine Gael and the Labour Party cannot continue to only passively support this very worthy and necessary legislation.
“This is why Sinn Féin has made the decision to submit a motion to every county council in the state calling for support for Jake’s Law,” she explained.
“I am urging all parties and independents to give their full backing Jake’s Law by voting in favour of the motion when it comes before Limerick City and County Council,” she added.
Speaking on a debate on ‘Jake’s Law’ in the Dáil, Limerick Fine Gael TD Kieran O’Donnell said that annual funding must be provided for traffic calming measures in all Limerick residential estates.
“For many young families in Limerick, one of the most pressing issues they face is the safety of their children on the estates they live in,” said Deputy O’Donnell.
“Limerick has a great number of residential estates. In many instances, they are home to young families, but they do not always have the practical measures to ensure that traffic is sufficiently slow for the safety of young children playing,” he said.