Residents have expressed their shock at the closure of the road linking Rock Road to Lewis Road via St Finan’s Hospital, with one local describing the move as “mental”.

The quiet road, which runs along the back of Fitzgerald Stadium through the grounds of the former psychiatric institution, was sometimes used by locals as a convenient shortcut during times of heavy traffic but that practice is now at an end due to new measures implemented by the Health Service Executive. As our picture shows, bollards and signs have been erected at either end of the road, making the route inaccessible to motorists.

A notice at the Lewis Road end of the grounds states that the road serves as an emergency entrance/exit to the hospital but St Finan’s, known colloquially as the “mental hospital”, has been closed since 2012.

The move has been greeted with disappointment by locals, many of whom are already deeply frustrated with the town’s ongoing traffic crisis. It is certainly an untimely development considering the summer of traffic we’ve just endured. It’s more roads we need, not fewer.

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