Murphy: ‘Residents scared to leave home over dangerous N5’

Fianna Fáil Senator Eugene Murphy has claimed that some residents along the N5 route between Strokestown and Ballaghaderreen are “frightened for their lives” due to the high number of accidents on the road in recent years.

Expressing sympathy to the family of Tuam native Brian Mullins, who recently lost his life on the road, Senator Murphy said: “Many people along the route are frightened for their lives leaving home because of the dangers posed by the road”.

The Scramogue-based politician said the proposed N5 bypass would get the go-ahead shortly and that the Government “fully accepts the project is essential for Roscommon”.

“I have received calls from many people, particularly in recent days, expressing grave concerns about the level of fatal accidents occurring on this stretch of road,” Murphy said.

“The short-term solution is to get flashing warning signs urging motorists to slow down. This is most effective and will ensure greater safety along the route.

“The long-term solution is the bypass to be green-lighted by Government and to be up and running in the autumn of this year”.

The Fianna Fáil Senator believes the new bypass will significantly reduce the volume of traffic on the N5, making it much safer for road users.

“I am very confident following discussions with Minister Michael McGrath and Minister Jack Chambers and also Minister Paschal Donohoe that the Government will approve shortly a new contract for the N5 bypass,” he said.

“It is vital first of all from a health and safety perspective but I also believe it will open up the economy of northeast/west Roscommon”.

The contract for the N5 bypass was initially awarded to Roadbridge but the company ran into financial difficulties and the development fell through. The project was expected to cost €200 million but it is believed that spiralling costs may increase total spend by up to €60 million.

Asked how confident he was that the project would commence this year, Senator Murphy said “very”, adding that if that was the case the new N5 bypass could be in place within the next three years.