I take back everything I've said about Clare. What an extraordinarily gutless, stupid, irresponsible, cowardly decision by Limerick City and County Council.Clare County Council has seen the light and ignored the Armageddon warnings of Cllr Crowe as well as species of bee so rare that nobody at all knew it was there.
Clare says yes to controversial Limerick road - Limerick Leader
Now up to Limerick City & county Council to rubber stamp it next week after last week's courageous decision not to make any decision at all. Seeing as most of the route is in Clare, that the council is already going ahead with the Coonagh-Knocklisheen road that will connect the Northern Distributor to the M18 motorway and that only one or two houses come within 500 metres of the route on the Limerick side of the Shannon, the go-ahead should be a formality.
Councillors block Limerick route of distributor road - Limerick Leader
This is parish pump sleeveenery at its very worst and an indictment of why Limerick has lagged behind the rest of the country over the past three decades. The amalgamation of the city and the county appears to have produced a bastardised monstrosity completely incapable of lifting their vision above cowering to the last crank to give out to them.
Opposition to the road was confined to a handful of residents in Mountshannon who made a big deal of it to Councillor Marion Hurley (FG) and Councillor Shane Clifford (FF). Not to be outflanked in their terror at losing a single vote to their party colleagues, Clllrs Michael Sheehan (FG), Jerry O'Dea (FF) and Kieran O'Hanlon (FF) found themselves similarly outraged about a bee they never even knew existed or a floodplain that they were completely unaware of or whatever and the Limerick City East Ward had a No majority. And showing the same political maturity as their colleagues, Cllrs Elena Secas (Lab), Seighin O Ceallaigh (SF) and Paul Keller (Angry Plumbers) found an ideological argument to jump on the bandwagon.
Not one of the other FF, FG, SF and Angry Plumbers councillors had the wit to examine the proposal themselves instead of blindly following their colleagues in City East. The only exception was Labour where relations between its three members are now so poisonous that they'd do anything to shaft each other. In fact, it appears that it was just the Council's only independent member, John Gilligan, who made up his own mind on the roads merits. It says a lot about the other thirty-nine talking heads.
The Northern Distributor Road is mostly in County Clare and its other component,the Coonagh-Knocklisheen road, has already been approved by Limerick City and County Council. It is intended to deal with a number of growing traffic issues that seriously impinge on Limerick's potential for economic growth including:
- congestion on the Dublin Road out to the Annacotty M7 Junction
- access to the University from Clare and Limerick City's Northside
- access from Corbally, Parteen, Clonlara and Shannon Banks to the national roads network
- a road across the headrace/tailrace that can handle two-lane traffic; existing humpback bridges at O'Brien's Bridge, Clonlara, Blackwater and Parteen were built for horses and carts ninety years ago
The world didn't end when the Shannon Tunnel and the University Bridge were opened in recent years. Clare County Councillors realised that and figured out that the case for the road was a no-brainer. They looked at the big picture and ignored the emotional blackmail of Cllr Cathal Crowe and a few shrillies who showed up in Ennis.
Fair dues to them. They showed up the utter incompetence of a bunch of gutless clowns who are inflicting more economic damage on Limerick than the gangs or the closure of Dell ever done. Maybe they all secretly crave to reach Willie O'Dea's level of political irrelevance.