Mattie Fox: Ballinalee road and footpath improvements create great buzz

Mattie Fox

Longford Leader columnist, Mattie Fox

Longford County Council are doing a wonderful job of upgrading the entry to Ballinalee from the Aughnacliffe region.

A team of men led by the great arbiter of society Joe Clarke, of Killoe, have made great strides in doing what is a difficult job, and every evening they leave the place as tidy as any part of Ballinalee.

No jokes now…..

What was a very hazardous bend, approaching the creamery, has been cleared back to give clear vision towards the village opening up what was a blind spot that could be extremely dangerous.

Amazingly, I’ve never seen an accident happen there, despite the hazardous visibility.

Let’s hope it remains that way.

I went to the village this morning, and met several cars speeding as though they were rushing to escape a huge fire. Like calves let out for the first time. As though they were suddenly free.

Everyone across the wrong side, skittering wildly. It’s fascinating how people increase speed any time a road is made ‘safer’!
The council are providing a footpath all the way out to the houses - six of them - and we’re all looking forward to that. It means one can actually walk in safety into Ballinalee, without playing the running game from one side of the road to the other.

A virtual death trap, avoidable only by staying at home, or driving.

The new job was pushed continuously by Councillor Michael Carrigy, and it’s probably a change for me to say anything positive about our county councillors, but there are some who work hard for their area.

Michael Carrigy is one such. He’s given a lot of time to securing the job.

Many people have contributed to the improvement, and on this note I must compliment Enda Tully who has done an extraordinary clearance on his side of the road doing what he knows how to do only one way; with great taste, and leaving the area spotless.

A masterclass in how work should be done. The whole area has been transformed.

There’s a great buzz around the village seeing the work being done, at long last. After several years waiting, great to see some funds being provided.

It finally means that all sides of Ballinalee are served by a footpath.

One thing that struck me, is the fact that the huge sewerage pipe laid some time ago, when Ireland was in the throes of everything being possible, appears impossible to work to. Many householders on the newly laid pathway, when it’s completed, are wondering if they’ll be able to connect their sewerage to the system lying idle under the roadway. Some are fearful that the council might make it mandatory to connect, and are scared of the cost.

Well of course the Council won’t make it mandatory. For anyone living already, in situ, there’s no question of that happening.
Furthermore, I’ve heard a rumour, from a reliable source, that allegedly the engineers operating at the time of its ‘completion' seemed to be under the impression that water travels uphill!

One wonders what the council would do if that proved true.

The footpath won’t be finished until next year, as enough funds aren’t available but what’s seldom is wonderful, so it’s great to see.

Let’s hope the drivers can refrain from taking the new bend like racing drivers. You’ll still get there going a tad more slowly you know……

It’s important to remember that there is a speed limit operating.

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