Wednesday 20 March 2019

Glantane marches for safer footpaths

The children of Glantane National School took to the streets last week, together with parents, members of staff, Glantane Community Council, the Kilshannig Active Retirement Group, Councillors, local residents and An Taisce representatives, to highlight the need for a footpath connecting the school to the centre of the village.

Glantane Community Council recently installed a footpath from the village to the GAA sports complex and newly refurbished Kilshannig Community Centre and, in conjunction with Glantane National School, are now actively campaigning to raise money to fund the second phase - to construct the footpath from the village to the school. A Cork County Council grant of €20,000 has been awarded to the Community Council for this purpose, but a further €40,000 is required to see the project to completion.

Last week, to highlight the footpath campaign and as part of their An Taisce Green Schools Transport project, the 146 school children chose to walk from the school to the sports complex to participate in their annual sports day.

The day's events began at the school, where the children entertained their visitors with live music and displayed their environmental project entitled "Our favourite place: Glantane" which included a 3D model of the village made by 4th class students, depicting the existing footpath running through the village and the remaining distance to be covered to link the village to the school.

Speakers included School principal, Eamonn O'Sullivan, chairperson of Glantane Community Council, Máire Murphy, Deputy County Mayor, Timmy Collins (Ind.) and Councillors Bernard Moynihan (FF.), John Paul O'Shea (Ind.) and Dan Joe Fitzgerald (FF.), all agreed that a footpath to the school was badly needed to enable the school children to walk to and from the facilities in the village and ensure the safety of all road users.

Local Councillor, John Paul O'Shea, said "It is vital Glantane NS is linked to the village as soon as possible with a footpath. Children and locals find it very difficult to walk this section of the road safely. "The Government has reduced funding for footpaths year on year and must provide the additional funding needed by Glantane Community Council to complete this", John Paul said.

The school children, who carried placards they had made which read 'Footpath please', 'Bridge us together', 'Don't drive to school, you'll save more fuel', ' Keep us safe' and other such slogans, then led an orderly procession along the road and walked the 1.2km from the school to the sports complex, stopping at one point to form a human chain showing the length of footpath which remains to be funded.

The event was a fun experience for the children, but served also to raise awareness of the seriousness of pedestrian safety in Glantane village and the need for a footpath bridging the village to the school.