People Platform – September 13th




Kind Irish Times reader comes to the rescue


A letter from Castlerea woman, Samantha Webb, appeared in the Irish Times’ letter to the editors section on Tuesday, offering thanks to a kind reader who offered Samantha, her son Jamie and her sister a lift home from Barretstown recently.

  The letter is reproduced here with Samantha’s permission.



Co. Roscommon


Recently your published a report on the Irish Rail service, ‘People were gone demented – I’ll never travel on Irish Rail again’ (Irish Times News, August 22nd), in which your reporter Colin Gleeson interviewed me, my sister and my son Jamie, among others, regarding the appalling conditions on the Westport to Dublin train.

  We were travelling to Dublin on the train to attend Barretstown for the weekend, as part of Jamie’s treatment for leukaemia at Crumlin Children’s Hospital.

  As a result of your article, we received a phone call on Saturday while we were in Barretstown, to say that a reader had contacted your office to offer us a lift home! He had read your article and was adamant that we would not have to be subjected to such conditions on the homeward journey.

  Your reader came from Dublin to Barretstown on the Sunday afternoon, and drove myself, Jamie and my sister home to Castlerea, Co. Roscommon.

  I just wanted to acknowledge in your paper the kindness and generosity of your reader, who sacrificed his Sunday to come to make life easier for a sick little boy he had never met before.

  We cannot thank him enough. He knows who he is and will never be forgotten.

Yours, etc.,

Samantha Webb


Reader ‘drained’ by this issue…


Dear Editor,

I would like to find out who is responsible for maintaining water drains on roads in Roscommon town. I presume it is Roscommon County Council – or maybe the National Roads Authority?

  The reason I’m asking is that down Convent Road (as an example) there are water drains that have not been cleaned out/unblocked for close on ten years (see photograph). I’m not sure what the logic is in ignoring this obvious work/maintenance that is required to make the water drain fit for purpose.

  When there is heavy rain the water flows past the blocked drains and heads down to the little roundabout where it creates a flood in two places on the Lough Road. This can make it dangerous for drivers who are forced to pull out to avoid floods. Some pull into oncoming traffic which is approaching the roundabout from Fuerty – these cars don’t expect traffic coming from the other direction in their lane.

  This year, the roads were totally resurfaced and it seemed that the drains were removed, or at least covered in tarmac. I thought maybe the plan was to remove the drains, but wondered where the water was going to go! Alas, the drains were not removed, they were just covered in tarmac – and when tarmac was removed/cleared the drains had still not been unblocked – a missed opportunity.

  If it is the responsibility of Roscommon County Council, maybe we have a situation whereby they expect the residents of the road to unblock the drain, or at least cut the grass growing from the drain? I would have thought paying Local Property Tax would cover the maintenance of drains.

  Maybe they will get unblocked this year…or even by the end of next year, when that decade is up!

Yours sincerely,

(Name and address with Editor)