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Poor condition of footpaths in Shannon have been blamed for a number of falls and hospitalisations of elder members of the community.

“Urgent action” is needed for several footpaths in Shannon “that are a risk to the public due to the roots of trees causing damage to the surface and in other areas some serious cracks on older footpaths,” Cllr Gerry Flynn (IND) warned.

Width availability is limited as a result of the presence of briars and vegetation, he flagged. Flynn referenced “compromised footpaths” such as the section from Dun an Óir to Delginish, the Foyle Park area, Upper Road (old N19) path running parallel to Fergus road, the section from Gort Road junction onto Drumgeely towards the mini roundabout.

In a proposal before the Shannon Municipal District, Cllr Flynn asked that Clare County Council commence a planned series of works “to enhance the large volume of pathways in Shannon as soon as possible”.

Clare County Council have recently signed a footpath maintenance contract with PS Carmody’s Ltd, senior executive engineer Tom Mellett confirmed. “A large volume of footpaths” in the Shannon MD are included in the contract with works due to conclude in Drumgeely by the end of the year.

Spending on footpaths for the MD in the contract has increased by twenty five percent over the last three years, Mellett advised. “In addition to this contract, we are utilising other sources of funding to improve pedestrian infrastructure and are continually assessing footpaths for maintenance,” he said.

Flynn blamed the footpaths for recent hospitalisations of Shannon residents. “There is an ageing population in Shannon, a number of our people have suffered falls and injuries and some hospitalised”.

He noted that the amount of people from outside Shannon using the walkway during the lockdown was “immense” and referred to the high volume of workers in the area using the “network of footpaths”. Flynn concluded, “I hope that whatever is done that the quality is utmost”.

More than resurfacing will be needed, Cllr Donna McGettigan (SF) maintained, “the tree roots are causing serious issues,” she commented.

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