Malachy Hand, Fianna Fáíl local election candidate in South Roscommon was joined on the canvass trail by Galway West Fianna Fáíl TD Eamonn Ó Cúiv, former minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs on Friday afternoon.
This was a fitting trip for Ó Cúiv, whose long-standing career with Fianna Fáil saw work around the issues of community, social justice, peace and reconciliation and the Irish language and culture come to fruition.
Issues highlighted by Malachy during his election camapign, are those held dear by Deputy Ó Cúiv himself. Of particular concern is the N61 Athlone to Roscommon roadway crisis which was again visited by Hand when O’Cúiv met with a group of concerned residents at Ballybay Parish Hall. These residents had already attended a highly successful meeting organised by Malachy one week previously. Ó Cúiv’s extensive experience of such issues in the Galway area backed up this group’s observations that the N61 has become the most direct access route to and from the Galway-Dublin motorway – the M6 – for Roscommon and Mayo in particular.
The density of traffic, speed, disregard for residents endeavouring to access their properties along the N61 were voiced. Particular attention was drawn to the increasing number of potential blackspots from Athlone to Roscommon Town, via the Hill of Berries, Kiltoom, Lecarrow and Knockcroghery and entry and exit from villages, businesses, filling stations and amenities along the route.
This group agreed to establish a committee to meet with senior personnel of the Roads Department at Roscommon Council with a view to instigating a substantial report, highlighting accident black spots and areas of acute concern along this route, for presentation to Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII ). Records of traffic density and accidents on this route would form a substantial backdrop to this and any further reports.
Deputy Ó Cúiv complimented those present on their initiative and persistence before attending a rural affairs discussion in Hamrock’s Lounge, Brideswell.