*Cllr Gabriel Keating. Photograph: Gary Collins
CROSS’ reputation is “let down” by the entrance road to the South-West Clare village, its local representative has argued.
Having missed out on inclusion in the 2022 schedule of Municipal District works, the R-487’s condition could impact on the experience of visitors to the Loop Head Peninsula over the summer months, Cllr Gabriel Keating (FG) lamented.
His request for Clare County Council to carry out surface dressing was turned down. However, senior executive engineer in the West Clare MD, Alan Kennelly had some positive news with a 1,500m stretch near Kilbaha to benefit from surface overlay and 1,800m near Doonaghboy to be surfaced dressed in this year’s programme.
Keating recalled formerly driving through a town in his “working life” which had a sign saying ‘welcome to our town, our entrance lets us down’. The same is applicable to Cross when it comes to the approach road, he believed while suggesting discretionary funding be put aside to get the job done.
He was adamant that the area has a lot to offer and referenced PJ Murrihy’s single ‘The Wonder of the West’ as proof of this. Cllr Keating calculated that 30,000 people would pass through Cross this year and said the old school built in 1893 was now operating as a B&B and restaurant while also pointing out that the village boasts a shop, pub, garage, motor garage, GAA complex, church, burial ground and digital hub, “you can stay the night and do your business in the hub and get the car serviced, we have great volunteers and community workers, they all work to keep the place as best they can”.
Cllr Cillian Murphy (FF) agreed “wholeheartedly” with the views of his colleague. “I often cycled up the hill into the village, it definitely could do with an upgrade, it is air shattering on a bicycle. We sometimes forgot about the services in a village, when it is laid out like that it does bring it home,” he stated.
This reminded Cllr Keating to mention the “huge influx of cyclists” to Cross, “I haven’t seen you on the bike as much but you are very busy,” he remarked of his Peninsula neighbour.