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Saturday 24 February 2018

Protesters continue 30-year bid to secure footpath

Brian McDonald

IT IS more than 30 years since locals first expressed their fears about the dangers of walking along a treacherous stretch of road. But the community of Tulai, Baile na hAbhann, Co Galway, will today once again turn out in protest at the lack of action in providing a footpath.

The 800-metre stretch from the headquarters of TG4 to the crossroads at Baile na hAbhann has been the scene of numerous accidents over the years.

Locals say it is a miracle that nobody has been killed, as people take their lives in their hands when walking there.

They are calling on all candidates standing in Galway West to give a firm commitment that their long wait will finally end once the election is over.

A huge volume of traffic uses the road, as it is the main route from Galway city to the port of Rossaveal and to Carraroe.

Remarkably, 80pc of the funding for the job is in place, but Coiste Pobail na Tulai say they cannot get Galway County Council to fund the remaining 20pc and commit to doing the work.

In the late 1970s, efforts were made to have a footpath constructed. In 1980 former government minister Bobby Molloy made representations to Galway County Council on behalf of the local community. At that time he was told that there was no provision in that year's estimate to provide one.

A total of 75pc of the cost of the work has now been secured in funding under the Local and Community Development Programme for Gaeltacht areas.

A further 5pc is being contributed by local families.

"A number of people have been injured on this stretch of road, but until someone is fatally injured, no work will be carried out to secure the safety of road users in the area," a statement from Coiste Pobail na Tulai said.

"We call on the people who intend to represent Galway West to give a pledge that this project will be built within a year in office, as there is a great chance that funding that is secured will be lost."

Irish Independent

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