'Do we need to close deathtrap Dale Road?'

Anger over lack of funding leading to calls to consider closure of treacherous road

Transport Minister Shane Ross is hell bent on making a name for himself as the champion of road safety. But the safety of residents living along the notoriously dangerous Dale Road in North Kerry doesn't seem to matter as much to him.

Residents have been campaigning for years for major restoration works on the tattered stretch of causeway known as the Dale Road, running from Ballinclogher to Derryvrin.

But hopes of funding for vital road repairs were dashed at a meeting of Kerry County Council on Monday as it emerged public coffers are too 'limited'.

It's a road now considered one of the county's most dangerous and the scene of countless accidents over the years. A woman and her two child passengers were lucky to escape with their lives from a crash just over a week ago and the dangerously undulating surface of the road is being blamed by some for the incident.

Residents living beside the road are in fear of their lives and private tour operators are threatening to no longer travel this main route to the golfer's paradise of Ballybunion because the road is too dangerous for their drivers and vehicles.

But none of this appears to have changed Minister Ross's resolve to do - absolutely nothing!

Fine Gael Councillor Aoife Thornton is now calling on the Council to see if the road needs to be closed immediately to protect lives. She cited the recent accident in an urgent plea to Council management on the issue.

However, the councillor said she is taking heart from the fact that Minister Ross is soon to meet a delegation about the road. "As well as that, senior inspectors from the Department of Transport visited the Dale Road recently and there is... the possibility of sourcing funding later this year,," Cllr Thornton said.