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Councillor’s plea for A5 upgrade to be commenced as ‘matter of urgency’

Mid Ulster Councillor Gael Gildernew has pledged to keep pressing for a major upgrade of the A5, following another fatal collision which claimed the lives of two teenagers on April 30.

Jamie Moore (19), a former Omagh High School student, and Kamile Vaicikonyte (17), who was a student at St. Ciaran’s College in Ballygawley, both tragically died in the crash which occurred on the Doogary Road.

Poignantly, Kamile had taken part in a demonstration at her school the day before, to remember the people who had died on the A5.

Related: DfI and PSNI meet to discuss potential road safety improvements on A5

Speaking at last Thursday night’s (May 23) monthly meeting of the local authority, Cllr Gildernew (Sinn Féin, Clogher Valley) commented: “I spoke at our council meeting on March 28 this year to highlight the vital importance of the A5 dual carriageway project, and to ensure that the A5 is prioritised and commenced as a matter of urgency.

“Just four short weeks later, on Monday, April 29, I joined the entire student and staff community of St. Ciaran’s College in Ballygawley to support their campaign to get the A5 project realised.

“Within 48 hours of that poignant event, the heartbreaking news came in that there were two further fatalities on the A5. Sadly, a young student who was involved in that event just two days earlier became the next victim of the A5 in a road traffic accident, along with her boyfriend.

Related: Best friend of 17-year-old A5 crash victim says ‘enough is enough’

“I would like to reiterate my determination for work on the A5 to begin as quickly as possible, in order to save lives, tackle regional imbalances and improve economic and social prosperity.

“Following my request to council on March 28, we agreed to write to the Department for infrastructure Minister, John O’Dowd, on this issue.

“I would like to thank the minister for his positive response to our letter, and also thank him for agreeing to meet with the A5/N2 Cross-Border Committee, and I look forward to facilitating this meeting in the near future.”

Council Chairman, Cllr Dominic Molloy remarked: “Hopefully that can be arranged as soon as as possible. It’s of utmost importance.”

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