The roads in South Roscommon were described as being in a “deplorable state of disrepair” by an exasperated Cllr Tony Ward at the March meeting of the Athlone Municipal District members of Roscommon County Council.
The meeting heard that just €25,100 has been allocated under the Council's Draft Roads Works Scheme 2019 for repairs to 26,630 metres of national secondary roads in the municipal district, with chairman, Laurence Fallon, describing the roads programme as being “a bit like the loaves and the fishes, there is never enough money to go round.”
The council's senior executive engineer, Eugene Dwyer, agreed with members that the secondary roads allocation for South Roscommon is “not nearly enough” but he said he has to work within “strict constraints” in order to make the roads allocation stretch across the whole county.
Working from large maps which had been prepared by council engineering staff, the six members of the Athlone Municipal District were given a detailed breakdown of the roads programme, but while Cllr Tony Ward said there were a lot of roads on the map, “there are an awful lot which are not there at all, and I'm proposing that we write to the Minister for the Environment because it would take three, four or even five million to address the state of the roads in South Roscommon.”
Laurence Fallon asked Cllr Ward if he wanted the same letter that went to the Minister last year to go to him again. “We can dust off last year's letter and change the date, and send it up to the Minister again, for all the good that will do,” remarked the chairman.
There was widespread praise for the council's engineering staff for the detailed work they engaged in for the preparation of the roads Draft Road Works Scheme for 2019, with AMD Chairma, Laurence Fallon remarking that they had made “heroic efforts with very little funds.”