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*Newmarket-on-Fergus locals listening attentively at the community forum. Photograph: Joe Buckley

Locals attending last Monday’s community forum in Newmarket-on-Fergus were split on the need for an extra bus shelter in the village.

Several of those gathered among the 200 or so attendees admitted to The Clare Echo that they were surprised a bus shelter proved to be such a hot topic at the meeting.

Two elderly speakers highlighted the need for a bus shelter in the village for those travelling in the Ennis direction on Bus Éireann’s 343 service.

Cllr Cathal Crowe (FF) commented that decisions on bus shelters are now based on “commercial viability” with advertising erected on the interior and exterior of the structure. He warned locals, “be careful what you wish for. Bus shelters can also be a hangout for anti-social behaviour”.

In response, Kevin McCormack stated, “I will pay for one of the shelters if I have to. I’m sick of hearing from narrow minded politicians”.

“Not everyone wants a bus shelter”, Tony Bourke flagged. A phone box was previously in place along the same stretch of road in front of his residence and he revealed that it was a regular occurrence “at 2 or 3 in the morning” for individuals to kick the glass subsequently breaking it and for others to use it as a toilet. “If a bus shelter is put in across from my home, I’m afraid the same will happen”.

Clonlara representative, Cllr Michael Begley (IND) also told the meeting, “Be careful what you wish for”. He recalled that there after a long campaign to get a bus shelter in his area, within three months of going up there was no glass left on it.

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