Litany of tragedies forced Slane locals to seek bypass
SLANE is synonymous with huge rock concerts and one of the longest campaigns to have a village bypassed.
While other bypasses are designed to alleviate traffic congestion, the Co Meath project has, at its heart, a community-wide desire to end a spiral of carnage and a terrifying loss of human life.
Some 22 white crosses erected on a short stretch of road in Slane are daily reminders of the dangers faced by locals in a village which is home to fewer than 2,000 people.
The last to die was two-year-old David Garvey. He lost his life when his mother's car was run over by a truck in February 2001.
The danger is caused by a steep incline on both sides of the river, combined with a sharp turn on to the bridge itself.
This has proved lethal for lorries coming out of the village heading in the Dublin direction.
Numerous truck drivers have suddenly found themselves without brakes.
Vehicles have careered out of control, through the wall and into the river, often resulting in fatalities.
The tragic death of David Garvey was one in a litany of accidents in Slane which were recounted at a Bord Pleanala oral hearing on the Slane bypass project last February.
The hearing was told that, following David's death, local residents organised a public meeting.
The Slane Bridge Action Group was formed in a bid to strengthen the campaign for a bypass and to put an end to the continuous deaths occurring on the village's roads.
That hope now appears dashed. The bypass has been put on hold for some years to come, as the Government cuts spending on road projects.