roadside memorials

  • If Mayo County Council has the resources to remove roadside memorials, than it should have the staff to inspect private housing developments while they are under construction.

    That’s the view of Ballina Independent councillor Gerry Ginty.

    Councillor Ginty says the local authority will say it hasn’t the staff required to inspect each stage of construction of a private housing development, yet it had the staff needed to remove a roadside memorial in Bohola, along the N5 last week.

    At this month’s meeting of Ballina Municipal District the number of unfinished private housing estates in the Ballina Municipal District area, not taken in charge of by Mayo County Council dominated discussion.

    Councillor Ginty again proposed that at national level, to avoid unfinished estates in the future, that a percentage of the price of any house in an estate should be retained by the buyer’s solicitor, and would not be released to the developer of the estate until the estate was completed and taken in charge of by the local authority.

    This lunchtime he has been telling Midwest News editor Teresa O’Malley why this measure is necessary, to avoid the similar mistakes in the future.

  • The family of a young man, who was murdered in Mayo in 2017, say they're very upset by plans by Mayo County Council to take down roadside memorials which were erected in his memory.

    21-year old Joe Deacy from St Alban's, Hertfordshire  was discovered with head injuries outside a house at Gortnasillagh, Swinford on Saturday 12 August 2017.

    He later passed away in hospital, and Gardai subsequently launched a murder investigation.

    Last Summer, a memorial in his memory on the N5 at Bohola was vandalised, and two memorials were later erected - one on the N5 and the other on the Kinnaffe Road.

    A family member told Midwest News today that the memorials are an important part of the healing process for Joe's extended family and friends.

    However, they received a call from Mayo County Council this morning explaining that the memorials will be removed immediately because of visual distraction to passing motorists.

    The family member who spoke to Midwest News say they're devastated and saddened at this development, and are calling on the council to reverse the decision.

     

     

     

     

  • The family of a young man, who was murdered in Mayo in 2017, say they're very upset by  Mayo County Council's decision to take down roadside memorials which were erected in his memory.

    21-year old Joe Deacy from St Alban's, Hertfordshire in the UK  was discovered with head injuries outside a house at Gortnasillagh, Swinford on Saturday 12 August 2017.

    He later passed away in hospital, and Gardai subsequently launched a murder investigation.

    Last Summer, a memorial in his memory on the N5 at Bohola was vandalised.

    Just before Christmas, two new memorials were erected by family members in Mayo - one on the N5 and the other on the Kinnaffe Road.

    A family member told Midwest News today that the memorials are an important part of the healing process for Joe's extended family and friends.

    However, they received a call from Mayo County Council this morning explaining that the memorials will be removed immediately because of visual distraction to passing motorists.

    This evening, the late Joe Deacy's father Adrian spoke to Midwest News from the UK.

    He said he understands that a number of similar roadside memorials have been erected in the past, without planning permission, for victims of tragic incidents, and he questioned why the memorials for his son are now being targeted by the council.

    In response to a query from Midwest News, Mayo County Council confirmed that the roadside monuments will be removed.

    In a statement, the council said that, as a local authority, it respects the need for people to erect roadside memorials, but must also provide a safe and efficient road network for all road users, as safety of all road users is a top priority.

    The statement concludes that the issue of roadside memorials will be on the agenda for discussion at the next meeting of the council's Road & Transport SPC (special policy committee).

     

  • Mayo County Council has published a draft policy on roadside memorials erected in close proximity to locations where fatal collisions have occurred.

    The proposed policy will be put before the elected members of Mayo County Council for their consideration and adoption.

    Tom Gilligan, Director of Services, told a meeting of the Roads and Transportation Special Policy Committee (SPC) yesterday that the proposed policy, in general, will not affect existing memorials erected by members of the public.

    However, Mr. Gilligan added, should an existing memorial become damaged or in need of replacement, the replacement memorial must comply with the policy. Members of the family of 21-year-old Joe Deacy, who died in August 2017 after being found unconscious at Gortnasillagh, Swinford, were present as observers at yesterday’s SPC meeting.

    The family group included Joe Deacy’s father, Adrian. The Deacys have previously expressed disappointment over the council’s actions in removing two roadside memorials erected to their loved one and say they were given no notice they were to be dismantled.

    Mr. Gilligan expressed his deepest sympathy on behalf of management of the council with the Deacy family on their tragic loss.

    He emphasised that Mayo County Council recognises and respects the wish of the bereaved to mark roadside deaths by way of erecting a roadside memorial but added that the council is also charged with the duty of keeping the public highway safe for all road users.

    In relation to the Joe Deacy memorials, Mr. Gilligan said, said there had been a number of complaints from members of the public that the memorials were “a visual distraction” and a hazard to road users.

    Mr. Gilligan said it must be recognised that all roadside memorials have the potential to become a road user hazard and, accordingly, a site-specific risk assessment will be required to be carried out at all proposed locations.

    The draft policy debars the erection of large permanent physical structures (such as monuments and shrines) along a carriageway and shall be removed on safety grounds.

    Following yesterday’s SPC session a private meeting, which was facilitated by Councillor Brendan Mulroy, Cathaoirleach of the Roads and Transportation SPC, took place between the Deacy family representatives and members of the county council executive.