independent

Friday 19 September 2014

Safety concerns as kids play under storm-damaged road

Olivia Ryan

Published 12/07/2014 | 12:00

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The road in Ballagan has remained closed since the winter storms at the end of 2013 and earlier this year. Photo by Bernard Murnaghan.

IT was among the worst affected roads in Louth when the winter storms battered the coastline last January.

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Now, fresh concerns have emerged over the road washed away at Whitestown/Ballagan, and fears about people and children accessing the area while it is still impassable.

The scenic road was completely eroded during the ferocious storms of last winter, leaving locals facing detours.

But safety concerns were paramount, and Louth County Council were granted €191,000 for repair and reinstatement works to coastal protection and flood defences damaged caused across the county, including at Greenore.

The council then prepared and submitted a programme of works to the Department of the Environment and Local Government.

But no works have actually begun in the area, and the road has been closed for over six months.

Action was called for after reports emerged that a passer-by noticed two children playing under the road while he was out walking on Sunday.

The incident has heightened local fears about conditions of the area and residents called for it to be either repaired or cordoned off as a mater of urgency.

A spokesman for the county council confirmed they had 'a number of representations' about access to the area over the course of the weekend before last.

'The area was made safe on Monday after the council attended the scene, but the road remains impassable. An alternate route is still in place.'

The spokesman said the council had applied for additional funding from the department before works begin on the overall plan of re-instating the road.

He added that damage to the Whitestown/Ballagan area was the most significant the council faced after the winter storms saying: 'Further assessments are being carried out before work can begin.'

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