road n24

Tipp fatalities needs urgent commitment to the N24 Scheme

Independent TD Mattie McGrath has extended his sincere expression of sorrow to the families of the latest people to die on Tipperary roads. Deputy McGrath was speaking after the county awoke to the tragic news that a man in his 80’s and woman in her 40’s died following a head on collision on the main N24 Limerick to Waterford road, close to Limerick Junction in Ballykisteen, Co Tipperary:

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“Yet again two families are enduring unbearable and sudden grief due to road fatalities on our county’s roads. It seems that these kinds of tragic incidents are becoming commonplace on Tipperary roads and particularly on the N24.

In May of this year I welcomed the cross-party political consensus which emerged in relation to making the completion of the N24 Cahir to Pallasgreen Scheme a county wide priority. That matter was originally discussed with former Minister for Transport Varadkar in June 2012 and since then several stages of the Scheme’s delivery have been completed including the preliminary design and an environmental assessment.

So we are now in a position where the Scheme can readily be brought through planning and CPO stages and indeed the construction phase. I am therefore calling on Tipperary Ministers Tom Hayes and Alan Kelly to use all the influence they have to see that there is a meaningful re-commitment by Government to bring this project to completion.

While I am not maintaining that today’s tragic accident could have been avoided if the work had been completed by now, it does stand to reason that the more a road like the N24 is upgraded and improved the more likely it is that we can minimise the risks of such terrible accidents occurring.

We have been having problems with the N24 in Tipperary for nearly 15 years since the Cahir to Clonmel Road at Kilmolash and Barne suffered severe deterioration. It was the work of the late Peter Britton South Tipperary Roads Engineer which was instrumental in securing the funding at that time to improve the road. Now it is the turn of the two Tipperary Government Ministers working in collaboration with other Tipperary Oireachtas members, from whom i might add they will receive nothing but support.

The reality is that Tipperary saw a huge increase in the numbers of road deaths in 2013 (up from 4 to 12), and we must do everything in our power to prevent any further increases which bring nothing but heartache to grieving families left devastated by such incidents,” concluded Deputy McGrath.