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‘Incompetence or deliberate negligence?’: South Armagh roads ‘impassable’

Residents 'angry and frustrated' at lack of response to appeals for action

Coolkill Road, Middletown

Roads in many parts of south Armagh are now impassable, with questions being asked whether “imcompetence” or “deliberate negligence” is to blame.

South Armagh Sinn Féin Councillor Terry Hearty – speaking at a Slieve Gullion District Electoral Area Forum meeting this week – accused the Department of Infrastructure Roads Service of failing to act on appeals by political representative to address the issue.

He insisted the “chronic state of many roads has brought most of the  local communities to breaking point”.

The meeting was attended by the Roads Service Newry Section Engineer.

Speaking afterwards, Councillor Hearty said: “Over the past weeks myself and my colleagues have reported road after road in our locality that are becoming hazardous for all users, be it motorists or pedestrians.

“There has been absolutely no response by Roads Service to many of the reports about roads with dangerous potholes. These roads are now becoming impassable.

“The Concession Road is a disgrace, an embarrassment; the minute Ballinacarry Bridge is crossed, one would think they were in an unkept farmyard.

“Promise after promise to repair the section of the road from Crossmaglen Chapel to the graveyard has been broken.

Many including myself see this, at the very best, as incompetence by the Roads Service local office or, at the very worst, back to the bad old days of deliberate negligence of the south Armagh area.”

The councillor said communities were now as breaking point, their anger and frustration further exacerbated “by the lack of response” to their plight.

“The health, safety and wellbeing of motorists, pedestrians and residents have been totally ignored,” claimed Councillor Hearty.

“Roads Service must face up to their responsibilities and take immediate and effective action to address these serious issues.”

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