Potholes in parts of mid- and northwest Cork have become so dangerous it "needs the army to be brought in to fix them."
A number of councilors raised concerns about the deteriorating conditions of roads in their region, with one councilor saying "it is time to call in the army".
Exceptionally heavy rainfall in recent weeks, together with a lack of ‘outdoor’ council staff, is leading to some rural roads looking like a moonscape, according to councilors.
Fine Gael councilor, Ted Lucey, said the situation is so bad "the army would have to be brought in to fill them all as they're everywhere” in his region.
He made the comment at a meeting of the Macroom Municipal District Council, which administers most of mid-Cork and parts of northwest Cork, especially around the Millstreet area.
Mr Lucey said that while persistent wet weather is not helping the situation, it is being exacerbated by a lack of council ‘outdoor workers’ who clear roadside drains and fill in potholes. He said Macroom town 15 years ago had seven outdoor workers - this has now been reduced to just one full-time worker and one other who is part-time.
Several councilors in other municipal districts, especially in West Cork, also claimed that their areas have fewer outdoor workers compared to some years ago. Fine Gael councilor Michael Creed said he “gets two or three phone calls” a day from constituents complaining about the proliferation of potholes.
Macroom municipal chairwoman Fine Gael councilor, Eileen Lynch, said one road she knows is so badly potholed it is nearly impassable.
Mr Lucey said the lack of outdoor workers is making road maintenance in some areas "unsustainable."
Nicola Radley, the municipal district council’s senior executive officer, said she would inform the divisional manager in charge of the region and the council’s director of roads of the councilors' complaints.