Pearse McGeough: Annagassan Silt Build-up an accident waiting to happen

Sinn Féin Councillor Pearse McGeough has called on Louth County Council to address the build-up of silt at Annagassan Harbour once and for all following an incident on Saturday.

Councillor McGeough said “Saturday was the first decent day that we have had this year weather wise and I was sickened to hear that a young child who was walking along the sand at the Harbour accidently walked onto the silt and got stuck. The person who was with the child managed to get them free with much difficulty but not before the child had sunk into the silt almost to their shoulders.”

Councillor McGeough has been calling on Louth County Council to address the issue of silt build up for a number of years. “The silt was so bad in 2012 that four berths at the end of the Harbour were reduced to three and that remains the case even today.”

Cllr McGeough said “this is a health and safety issue. If we are lucky enough to get a decent summer this year, you are going to have children playing or pets being walked. If they go into the water at all there is a chance they could get stuck and not come out of the water. Louth County Council needs to take what happened on Saturday as a warning and address the build-up of silt as a matter of urgency.”

Where the sand meets the silt. Children or animals wouldn’t notice the difference

Councillor McGeough contacted the Council this morning and asked for additional signage to be erected immediately. “That won’t stop young children or dogs going into the silt accidently or unknowingly but at least adults will be more aware of the danger until such times as the issue is addressed.”

“Despite remedial work being done at the Harbour since 2012, the silt is back with vengeance and needs to be dredged on an on-going basis, not just when it gets dangerously built up. Although there is no actual policy on harbours, Drogheda Port is dredged regularly to allow ships to get up the Boyne. Surely there should be a certain amount of maintenance work done on other harbours where the public are visiting or people are working. It is basic health and safety.”

Concluding, Pearse McGeough said “we should not be waiting for a tragedy to happen to act. We have had a warning of what could possibly happen if this silt is not dredged. It is not good enough to say there is no money or no funds. The Chief Executive was able to come up with €300,000 to cover an ‘administrative error’ over the Drogheda parking shambles, I’m sure if she tried hard enough she could come up with the funds needed to address this silt build up as it’s an accident waiting to happen.”

Cllr Cunningham Welcomes Road Markings on Dangerous Bend at Burley Bridge

Tom CunninghamSinn Féin Councillor Tom Cunningham has welcomed new road markings on the approach to Burley Bridge, Kells Road, Ardee.

Cllr Cunningham said “I raised this issue as a matter of urgency following the twelfth vehicle accident at the bend in just over a year. It is a very unsafe part of the road with a bend in the road from both directions and also two dips in the road. It was obviously built long before we had a fraction of the amount of traffic on the road that we have today.”

Cllr Cunningham was contacted by a concerned resident whose property is along that part of the road. “This lady has had her property damaged on a regular basis by vehicles approaching the bridge either too fast or completely unaware of the bridge until it’s too late. The only protection she has is an old tree at her driveway which has

Latest car accident at the bridge

Latest car accident at the bridge

already been damaged by vehicles hitting it. As a result, she has moved her children to the back of the house so they will at least be safe if a car does plough into her house one night.”

Cllr Cunningham said “I welcome the new road markings that Louth County Council is going to install on the approach from the Ardee side which will warn motorists to slow down at this location.  The Council are also going to consult with Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) in relation to a crash barrier at this bend which should afford some protection for the residents.”

From the Meath side showing 100KM

From the Meath side showing 100KM signs

Cllr Cunningham has also asked the Council to write to Meath County Council to ask them to remove a 100KM road sign which is just before the bend on the Meath side which is lulling motorists into a false sense of security and replace it with a ‘Slow Down’ or a ‘Bad Bend Ahead’ sign.

Signs of previous accidents

Signs of previous accidents