AN 80-year-old retired farmer who has lived in fear of cars crashing into his home for over a decade, may soon be able to use his front door again following news that Clare County Council will erect a crash barrier outside his home.
In the past 10 years, there have been as many as 25 accidents outside Martin McGuane’s home at Bunnahow, Tubber. On six occasions, vehicles have demolished his front wall, landed in his garden or collided with his home.
On July 22 last, Mr McGuane had another miraculous escape when two cars collided head-on outside his home before one careered through his front wall, coming to rest against the pensioner’s front door. A week later, another car demolished a wall at Mr McGuane’s farmyard directly opposite the house. As a result, he continues to live in fear of another car hitting his home and refuses to use his front door.
Clare County Council has now sought funding from the National Roads Authority (NRA) to carry out works at the accident blackspot and say work could begin in a matter of months. The council is expected to erect a crash barrier and other traffic calming measures while the NRA has already confirmed the speed limit on the road will be reduced to 80kmh when the new Crusheen to Gort Bypass opens in a few weeks.
Mr McGuane had been told by the council previously they could not erect a crash barrier because of “liability issues”. While the council has now confirmed it will construct a safety barrier, the McGuanes will have to change the layout of the front of the house first at their own cost.
“We will have to remove the steps and entrance at the front of the house and build a side entrance before they will erect the barrier. We will have to do this and pay for it ourselves but if we get a safety barrier outside the house, it’s a small price to pay for my father’s safety and peace of mind,” Aidan McGuane said.
Local councillor Pat Hayes said: “The NRA has met the council on site and an application for funding has now been submitted. However, I don’t want this to be delayed any longer. We have been very lucky no one has been killed here yet and we don’t want it on our conscience if there is a fatality.”
The McGaune family has already rejected claims by the NRA that the “risk for a repeat of this type of incident will diminish significantly when the Crusheen to Gort bypass is completed.”
Aidan McGuane said: “When the new bypass opens, it might take some of the traffic off the road but what will happen then is that the cars that continue to use this road will only be going faster. The flashing signs erected by the council have been a great help but there is still a problem with speed.”
An NRA spokesman has said: “The NRA will work with Clare County Council in reviewing their request for emergency funding and if the circumstance allow the NRA will assist.”
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