Farmers pledge land in bid to cut road fatalities

The transport minister will be advised that farmers are prepared to donate land to help upgrade a notoriously dangerous stretch of road in West Cork — which has claimed, among others, the life of an 8-year-old girl.

Zoe Scannell, from Abbeyfeale, Co Limerick, was killed and her mother Alisha seriously injured in a two-car collision near Owenahincha, Rosscarbery, last month.

Last year, Sheila McDonald, 64, died after the car in which she was travelling collided with an articulated lorry near the same spot. There have been many other serious incidents in the area in recent years.

Cork County Council has agreed to send a delegation to the newly appointed transport minister, Paschal Donohoe, urging him to pressurise the National Roads Authority (NRA) into making the road safer.

At a meeting in County Hall, a number of councillors offered their sympathy to the Scannell family, adding that no more lives should be lost on the route.

Cllr Noel O’Donovan (FG) said: “Over the last four years, in excess of 30 incidents have been reported to the authorities in that area. I want to see action now. I understand there is a preliminary plan in place to straighten out the bends and landowners are willing to give land free of charge.”

Following the death of the girl, he said, an online petition for action has been signed by thousands of people.

Cllr James O’Donovan (FG) said the blackspot was “without doubt the most dangerous” of the entire N71 road, which runs from Cork to Glengarriff.

“Serious work has to be done on it before there are any more fatalities,” he demanded.

Cllr Christopher O’Sullivan (FF) said council delegations on occasions had gone to the NRA but had received “a token response and no action”.

“It’s about time the NRA stopped ignoring this,” he said.

Mayor of County Cork Alan Coleman agreed that urgent action was needed and said the council would seek a meeting with Mr Donohoe.


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