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*An architect’s drawing of a potential new look at the Drumgeely Roundabout.

An area bounding the N19 in Shannon has the potential to become an amenity for walking and cycling, a county councillor has suggested.

Citing the proposed N19 Shannon Airport Access Road Improvement Scheme, Cllr Pat O’Gorman (FF) appealed to the Shannon Municipal District to give consideration to “integrating the green area” which runs between the two roads from Tola Park to the Drumgeely roundabout.

He believed by removing the wild shrubbery and briers, the area could become “an amenity for walking and cycling”.

Senior executive engineer, Tom Mellett detailed that options would have to be discussed with the TII as the area bounds the N19 on one side. “Any works would need to give primacy to the safety of road users and pedestrians alike”.

Speaking at last Thursday’s meeting of the Shannon MD, Cllr O’Gorman outlined that the stretch was roughly a kilometre in length. “There is approximately 11,000 people coming into Shannon working, more than half don’t know where Shannon Town is. This is another way of opening up the town. Open up the town of Shannon, let people see the shops and amenities in Shannon. It would be another amenity for Shannon.

O’Gorman insisted that the trees could be left at the location, “I don’t know how many people like briars and bushes growing around the place,” the Cratloe representative commented. Cllr PJ Ryan (IND) backed the motion to tidy up the area.

Although he admitted to supporting the “merits” of what Cllr O’Gorman outlined, Cllr Gerry Flynn (IND) said he was “more interested” in the views of the senior executive engineer. He recalled that measures were put in place when the road was created to deaden the sound from the main road and protect families. “There was some dangerous trees removed and shrubs cut back from the bus shelter from Drumgeely to Tola Park, that cleaning up has helped and there is another bit of work to be done. Local knowledge is a great thing and I’d like to think we have a lot of it in Shannon”.

Shannon representative, Cllr Donna McGettigan (SF) voiced her support for scaling back the area but asked that a “small bit” be left in the middle for natural habitat. She noted that there is a danger for cyclists at the location presently.

O’Gorman concluded, “Cllr Flynn said local knowledge, I’m in Shannon everyday looking at it”. He claimed that 90 percent of workers in the Shannon Industrial Estate don’t know where the town centre is.

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