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GROWTH IN COOLMEEN HAS been flagged in the argument to reduce the speed limit in the West Clare village.

Cllr PJ Kelly (FF) requested Clare County Council to consider reducing the speed limit in Coolmeen while pointing to the construction of six new houses in the past two years to persuade local authority officials that it “is a village that’s developing”.

A review can take place in the next national speed limit review, senior engineer in the Council’s transportation department, John Leahy advised. The last review was completed in 2018 and they are initiated every five years by Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII).

“It is the opposite to what is happening in West Clare,” Cllr Kelly said of the fortunes in Coolmeen. “The attendance at the primary school has increased and the traffic is growing in the village”. On the redirection of motorists utilising Google Maps, he commented, “a lady with a certain voice is pointing them into Coolmeen, the Sat Nav can be a blessing or a disaster. Coolmeen is an example, it is on the shortest line between Kilrush and Kildysart”.

Support was voiced by Cllr Joe Garrihy (FG) who observed, “this is a common problem throughout the county like New Quay where we’re looking at very high speeds. We will have to speak softly back to Google to get them to change”.

Speed limits are brought in by Council by-laws even though the review is initiated by TII, Cllr Ian Lynch (IND) highlighted. “TII seem to find the process slow, we’re again being managed by a body outside the county,” the Kilrush representative lamented.

Speaking at a recent sitting of the West Clare MD, Cllr Kelly warned that the Council must be “very careful” as “dezoning and speed limit reviews may prompt a review of the County Development Plan”.

A Council meeting of the past held one night in Miltown Malbay was recalled by the county’s longest serving councilor. “We were deciding the speed limits for the county and we had a power failure, Cllr (Christy) Curtin brought a candle, we sat around a table, we circled X and Y, if we didn’t do that we wouldn’t have village of Lissycasey. Today the TII would have to send down team of experts”.

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