SAFETY CONCERN: A deputation representing Fossa National School met with the Council in Killarney on Wednesday morning calling for the installation of a pedestrian crossing outside the school. Pictured l-r were: Catherine McCarthy (Chair of the Parent’s Association), Pat Clifford (Principal), Declan Lynch, Cllr Maura Healy-Rae and Tim Clifford. Photo: Michelle Crean
“It’s absolute mayhem” – says Principal
By Michelle Crean
Safety concerns for almost 300 pupils and staff at one Killarney school continue to linger on as they once again called on the Council to urgently make their school safer.
A deputation representing Fossa National School, which included Principal Pat Clifford, concerned parent Declan Lynch who has four children attending the school, and Catherine McCarthy Chair of the Parent’s Association, as well as local man Tim Clifford, were brought to the Killarney Municipal Meeting in the Town Hall by Cllr Maura Healy-Rae, on Wednesday morning.
They said that children and their parents are regularly taking their lives in their hands at drop off and pick up times as they negotiate crossing the busy N72 Killarney to Killorglin road to get to Fossa National School.
They called for the immediate installation a controlled pedestrian crossing with raised footpaths from the school to the Prince of Peace Church, as parish priest Canon Tom Looney has given his blessing for the 56 car parking spaces in the church grounds to be used.
They also asked for the crossing to be manned by a school traffic warden during school drop off and pick up times.
“I see practically every day near misses,” Principal Pat Clifford told the meeting.
“I think it’s an absolute injustice to every parent. Over 100 parents are coming at the same time – it’s absolute mayhem.”
Cllr Healy-Rae said that she has raised this very serious issue on a number of occasions.
“It’s an ongoing saga unfortunately,” she told the meeting. “It’s posing a very serious safety risk. There’s thousands and thousands of cars passing every day. It’s putting children’s lives at risk.”
Killarney Municipal District Engineer John Ahern said that the Council will work with them to come up with a solution.
He welcomed the fact that the school brought their own consultants on board to look at the structures inside and outside the school.
“We all have to work together to improve the situation,” he said.
However, Mr Lynch became seemingly frustrated with the debate saying he has spoken to a number of Council engineers and an official from Transport Infrastructure Ireland(TII) – but nothing has been done since.
“We’re getting nowhere,” he said.
“I’ve taken time off work to come in here and listen to this rubbish. My four children will have left Fossa by the time anything is done. I’m am quite angry, it’s just not acceptable.”
He said a simple solution is to go up to Mackey Shea’s and buy 100 traffic cones which could be used the following morning.