ANGER is growing over failure to deal with an accident black spot outside Heywood Community School in Ballinakill, according to local councillors.
Cllr John Joe Fennelly highlighted a litany of crashes in the area as he made yet another appeal for a roundabout to be installed at the junction outside the school.
“There are lots of roundabouts in Portlaoise and I am only looking for one in Ballinakill,” he told a council meeting.
Cllr Catherine Fitzgerald said: “They are very annoyed out there that this has not been addressed. They’re saying that you are getting what you want in Portlaoise. It’s a serious issue for the community and the residents out there and it’s a serious issue for Ballinakill.”
The appeals were made at a meeting of Portlaoise Municipal District, where cllr Fennelly made a third attempt to get the go-ahead for a roundabout at the busy secondary school, which has more than 700 students.
He received the standard response from a council engineer, who said the council’s road design section would “review” the junction with a view to improving safety, but any proposed works would depend on available funding.
Cllr Fennelly said he was not happy with the reply, as he got exactly the same response two years ago. He said a check with gardaí would confirm the high number of accidents at the junction. He told council officials at the meeting: “I’m asking for this to be taken seriously, because it wasn’t taken seriously the last two times when I got the same response.”
He was supported by cllr Mary Sweeney, who is on the Heywood CS board of management. She said it was a serious issue for the school, particularly during the snow last year, when the junction was “treacherous and lethal”.
Cllr Willie Aird and cllr Noel Tuohy also supported the proposal for a roundabout. Cllr Tuohy said: “We have a reputation of having too many roundabouts and ramps, but I would err on the side of caution when it comes to schools.”