Eddie Synnott


The decision by Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) not to allocate funding, in 2022, to the N24 and N25 road projects was described as “very disappointing” news by Kilkenny councillor, Pat Dunphy, chairman of Piltown Municipal District, at its recent monthly meeting. Cllr. Dunphy went on to say that it was “a hell of a blow to the area” and recalled a situation which arose some time ago, in regard to the Mooncoin bypass, when a lot of money was spent on a project which resulted in nothing.


Impact of decision

There was a call, from the meeting, to contest the decision and get both projects back on track as it had impacts on a number of areas, including business, safety and planning permission applications.

Both routes serve Belview and Rosslare ports and it was felt that the decision could have a detrimental effect on investment into, not alone south Kilkenny, but the whole South East, which some felt was, once again, being neglected. The fact that large articulated trucks had to navigate through towns and villages, such as Mooncoin, Carrick-on-Suir and Kilsheelan was mentioned, with Cllr. Eamon Aylward suggesting that the two routes “must be two of the most dangerous roads in the country”. Cllr. Aylward went on to say that some would describe the Waterford-Limerick road as “a glorified boreen”.

Cllr. Fidelis Doherty told the meeting that farmers on the N25 route had been discommoded for the second time and highlight the fact that there were 13 turn-offs on the section of the N25 which was not allocated funding for this year, at least. Cllr. Doherty went on to explain that three lives had been lost, as a result of road accidents on one of these junctions alone, including that of Lorraine Bolger on December 1st 2021.

It has been publicised that ‘There have been 372 recorded injury collisions resulting in 33 fatalities and 72 serious injuries in the period 1996 – 2016 along the section of the N24 under consideration. Despite a trend over the last decade of reducing number of road fatalities and serious injuries, the overall number of injury collisions on this section of the N24 has not reduced’.

Cllr. Pat Dunphy, Chairman Piltown Municipal District.

Planning permissions

While a route has been selected for the N25, it was felt that the large study area of the N24 would delay, significantly, the issuing of planning permissions within that area. Cllr. Pat Dunphy noted the current housing crisis and added that the situation regarding the N24 would not help the matter in any way.


Progressing the issues

Cllr. Tomas Breathnach called for the involvement of regional structures be put in place to progress the issues involved. He also stated that funding had been allocated to the N24Cahir-Limerick route and queried TIIs decision to allocate funding to half of a scheme.

Cllr. Ger Frisby believed that the South East had been overlooked as a result of two main arteries not been allocated funding for 2022. He also said that people were being deceived and questioned the issuing of Compulsory Purchase Orders (CPSs) in cases where projects are subsequently abandoned or delayed.

Cllr. Frisby felt that some decision being made had “no regard for people” and repeated a call by his colleague Cllr. Aylward for all local TDs to be stronger on the issue.

Concern was expressed that no explanation or reason was given for the decision and no advice on how the projects would be progressed, if at all. All contributors to the debate were of the opinion that a regional approach is advisable, involving regional public representatives, interest groups and regional fora.

A total of eight road projects, throughout the country, were not allocated funding for 2022 by TII: the N2 Clontibret to the border, the N4 Mullingar to Longford, the N11/M11 Junction 4 to 14, the N24 Waterford to Cahir, the N25 Carraigtwohill to Midleton, the N25 Waterford to Glenmore, the N52 Tullamore to Kilbeggan and the N59 Clifden to Maam Cross.

It was pointed out at the meeting that two of the eight projects impacted greatly on the Piltown Municipal District.