Warning signs for N20 junction where two died

Diane Baker and Judy Dinehart. Picture: Dan Linehan.

Warning signs are to be erected near a junction on the N20 where two US tourists were killed and where two more escaped with their lives in almost identical crashes.

The section of road through the Waterloo junction near Blarney, north of Cork City, is also due to be resurfaced within weeks, providing an opportunity to review road markings.

However, longer-term safety measures are being considered as part of a review of Garda analysis of accidents at the junction.

The news emerged a day after the Irish Examiner highlighted safety pleas from two US women — one whose father died in a crash at the junction and the other who escaped with minor injuries from a crash at the same location which has left her partner in hospital.

Diana Baker, whose father, Jim, 62, from Ohio, was one of two US tourists killed last September as they followed satnav directions to turn right at the Waterloo junction for Blarney, described the news as “fantastic”.

Judy Dinehart, from Minnesota, who escaped with minor injuries from a crash there just two weeks ago in which her partner, Daniel Pilarski, was seriously injured, as they too followed satnav directions, said it was a wonderful first step. However, she said that, in the long-term, the right turn off the N20 at this junction should be blocked.

Damian Boylan, a Fine Gael representative in Blarney, who spearheaded a petition for safety upgrades, released correspondence from Cork County Council engineers last night which shows that the council is liasing with Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) engineers

Information received from An Garda Siochána on the pattern of accidents is being analysed, with a view to identifying any measures that could be warranted at this junction,” a council engineer said.

“As an interim measure signage is being procured by TII, to inform traffic approaching the junction on the N20 from the northern side that Blarney Castle is straight ahead [via R617 junction further south at Clogheenmilcon] and it is hoped to have this signage erected in the next three to four weeks.

Mr Boylan said it was a great start.

“The ultimate aim should be delivering the M20 but, in the medium term, I want that right turn eliminated,” he said. “It will add five or 10 minutes on to some journeys but it will save lives.”

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