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*Photograph: Patrick Comerford

Kilrush residents visiting the graves of their loved ones have put the need for additional street lighting in the West Clare town back into focus.

Installation of additional street lighting along the Shanakyle Rd to St Senan’s Graveyard has been sought in Kilrush. Cllr Ian Lynch (IND) tabled a motion on the matter at the January meeting of the West Clare Municipal District and also sought an update on the upgrade of street lights in Kilrush town to LED lighting.

Executive engineer of Clare County Council’s transportation department, Pat Lynch stated that no funding was available in the maintenance budget for the extra lighting along the Shanakyle Rd. The public lighting LED retrofit contract has been submitted with a proposed start in Cork this July, “as this contract requires the contractor to complete Cork before moving onto the next county it will be well into 2022 before they reach Clare and I am not in a position to give a date when the changing of lights in Kilrush will commence”.

Costs associated with upgrading “can vary significantly” depending on the wattage of the light or the condition of the bracket, the engineer explained. He was also unable to provide exact costs on the installation of new lights on an existing ESB poll compared with a new pole.

Cllr Lynch said he was contacted regarding a shortage of lighting on approach to St Senan’s Graveyard. With people feeling isolation a bit more during the third lockdown, he said it has resulted in visits to the graveyard as a source of comfort “but a couple of them have been caught out with the light”. He committed to spending some of his General Municipal Allocation on the lighting if a costing was forthcoming.

“I would love to have seen some bit of detail on the cost of the poles,” Cllr Shane Talty (FF) stated. He recalled a previous motion on new lighting which he felt was “dismissed” by the local authority. “Each pole is different but I’m pretty sure we could estimate within the nearest thousand euro,” he concluded.

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