Every so often I survey my bailiwick out here and beyond from my lofty perch at the epicentre of Brasscockland in order to review, not so much affairs of state but rather the state of affairs relating to the minutiae of daily life.
I start my journey out at the Passage Cross folks and there’s still no sign that this terrible bend will be taken out – it’s a totally blind corner if one is travelling inward. It’s amazing that there have not been more accidents but why wait until something very serious happens? As we have often said, many road accidents are exactly that – accidents caused by roads.
Further in we are back to the Knockboy Cross at Beckett’s. Now as we said previously there has to be a roundabout built here as there is a total blind spot to the left as one tries to emerge from the car park. And the planners and the engineers talk about the vital necessity of sight-lines, well there’s damn all here to the left. One is frequently taking one hell of a chance attempting to cross at this junction or in turning right. In emerging from the Knockboy Hill/Riverview or should I say trying to, can have added difficulty as one’s view can be obscured to the left by an array of poles belonging to signage. Yes, once again this project needs top priority.
A quick scoot up the ‘yellow hill’- Cnoc Bui – and is it not living up to its name, as we speak, with a great blaze of colour. It’s quite a while since I have seen such fabulous flush of flowering. It’s a timely reminder that come what may we must not lose this area, ever, to development.
Further up is the wet woodlands which we wrote about at length on various occasions as development struck at its very heart and those who worked so hard to conserve the area were led it seems on a merry dance. But at least the rest of the area between the Hill and Riverview Estate is now secure. Further up the hill we note that there are re-jigged plans for the church here of St Mary’s Ballygunner. It was back to the drawing-board after the previous planning submission which took excessively from the essential architectural character of the traditional building which dates back to the early 19th century. Meanwhile, we continue to barr an chnoic where the gaelscoil brea nua stands, a scoil that has gone o neart go neart since its siolta were planted at Viewmount House over 20 years ago now.
The junction itself has been utterly changed, opening new vistas as we said previously. This entailed the knocking of the old Phelan farmhouse and its farmyard whitewashed walls which has been part of the landscape there for hundreds of years. This is to establish a major and hopefully safer junction here to deal with the much higher levels of traffic now traversing this area – with the hundreds of new housing units, two national schools, nursing home, the greatly upgraded Williamstown Road, the local church with its many funerals and weddings in addition to its regular services. I understand the junction is to be signalised.
Back down we go again and pass off the ‘non roundabout’ and head in along. As we pass the Woodlands we hear of plans to improve the junction access here as well. There had been plans for a ‘continental-style roundabout between it and the entrance to Booterstown/Farmleigh but now I hear that had been on the assumption that there would be a through-road linking into the Paddock and the Williamstown Road. But that’s off the agenda apparently. As we proceed in the main road again I can’t resist banging on once again about a hobby-horse of mine. Why we cannot and will not adequately sign-post the estates from the main road as well as internally and insist by law that there is a numbering system in place and for it to be clearly legible leaves me amazed.
I just came in the back road and passed the Williamstown Road roundabout, by the old thatched house. Now what is the name of that new(ish) estate on the left? Is it some sort of state secret? I hope you will forgive the sarcasm. It has been a feature of all new housing estate developments in the area – when they are being built the name of the new development is ‘writ large’ on colourful hoarding. But upon completion this signage eventually comes down and it is rare to find any indication of the place name. As for internal estate signage! Well we are tired of talking about that one- Maybe the Council should issue us all with sat-navs to point the way.
On top of things
So let’s get off one of my hobby-horses and get back on track as we continue in the way. We pass by the venerable Brasscock itself – formerly the CofI Church of St Thomas. Did you know that Ballinakill means as Gaeilge the townland of the chapel/church,so it indicates that there was a church here since early times. Coincidentally, St Thomas’s was built around the same time as St Mary’s Ballygunner. Before we leave this favoured spot of mine may I make a suggestion to ‘the powers that be’ that the Brass be put back into the cock, so to speak!
I understand that as a condition of developments such as the Ballinakill Shopping Centre, a work of public art, usually in the form of sculpture, should be commissioned by, paid for and displayed at or near that development. Here I suggest the renewal of ‘his nibs’ the Brasscock himself be undertaken and his perch atop of this landmark building. This would bring back a shine to this old bird and thus brighten up our horizons – much needed I dare say in these gloomy times.
On we go as we pass the wee roundabout at Oskars/Grantsown Park with a plea again to those drivers coming out the road and heading for that estate, to remember to indicate here every time and so let people know in advance that you’re turning rather than going straight ahead. It’s a very tight roundabout with little margin for error, so as they say every little helps and there are better ways of running into your neighbours!
To conclude our review of Brasscockland this week it’s back to another ongoing saga of ups and downs. I speak once again of that continuing eyesore of the former Maxol site – and what a sight it is! What added to the state of dereliction was the regular collapsing of the protective/security fencing which constituted a hazard in itself. So the good news is that there has been work going on there over the past few weeks to really strengthen this perimeter fencing with much sturdier uprights being implanted so as to greater withstand assault of weather or vandals.
But the downside or bad news is that this work suggests to me that the site is being secured for the longer term and further suggests that development here is not in prospect in the medium term, especially in light of the economic downturn. Is there not some other/temporary use this site could be put to? One service that this entire area lacks is a car mechanic’s garage and yet there are literally thousands of cars on its doorstep. Well what about it – or have you a better/other idea? Keep in touch.
Go seachtain eile, slan.