The condition of roads in and around The Cathedral Town following works on the Thurles Regional Water Scheme resulted in angry exchanges between councillors and officials at the monthly meeting of the local authority this week.
Cloughmartin and Holycross were just two of the areas mentioned at the meeting of North Tipperary County Council after many members had raised the issue and stated that the condition of the roadways, after reinstatement, is unacceptable.
First raised by Cllr John Kennedy who said that some of the roads were like “riding a rollercoaster”, the issue was to draw comments from Cllr Jim Ryan who claimed that residents in Cloughmartin and Tobins Cross have had property damaged; Cllr Seamus Hanafin who said that the condition of roads was the single biggest issue he had encountered on the campaign trail; and Cllr Micheal Lowry who clashed with officials when questioning them on when the roadways would be permanently reinstated.
Cllr Lowry was informed by Mr Marcus O’Connor that the roads had been reinstated following excavation works to lay pipes, but the council was not happy with the work done as settlement had occurred resulting in the roadway giving way underneath. A further reinstatement job was undertaken by the contractor, Mr O’Connor said, and he added that it would be foolish to now follow up with a permanent surface until such time as further settlement has taken place.
“We have been going on about this issue for months now and nothing has been done about it. I want to know if there is funding in place as part of the contract to reinstate the roads to their condition prior to this work,” Cllr Lowry said.
“There is funding in the contract for permanent reinstatement and this will be done in conjunction with the area engineers who will see how best to use the monies in conjunction with road improvement funding. I do not accept the comment that we have been doing nothing. There has been a lot of work going on and meetings on site and it is not right to say that nothing has been done,” Mr O’Connor replied.
Cllr Lowry sough clarification on whether the roadway or the trenches cut out for the pipework would be reinstated. He was informed that the funding in the contract was for the trenches but the road improvement and maintenance funding would be used in conjunction with this contract money to get best value on the roads in question.
No timeframe was offered as the issue of subsidence and settlement is still a live one at the present time.
Cllr Lowry was not happy with the reply and said that the conditions the roads are being left in is disgraceful, adding that residents have been very patient over a long period of time.