All my Life’s a Circle is a line – and may well be the title – of a song from years ago. Events, as they happen and re-happen and recycle, remind me of the song from time to time.
Take the debate these few days about the traffic lights at the Limerick Road T junction. There are questions and suggestions about the lights being replaced there at present.
It was a bit like that too when they were first placed there in the early 1990s. There were talks then about a simple roundabout and it’s even more pronounced now that the traffic levels through the town have dropped so dramatically.
The lights are needed now more that ever and while the need has changed from the volume of through traffic, the foot-fall at that junction has increased.
Area engineer, Brendan Mulhern has heard all the suggestions for the traffic management at the Hartnett’s Corner dominated area of the town and he understands how and why they came about.
However, he has the responsibility for the safety of all motorists and pedestrians who use that junction on a daily and regular basis.
“We had to change the lights there because the supporting poles were corroded and were becoming a hazard and the new lights will be more disability friendly,” said Mr. Mulhern.
“The tones in the new push-button system will change to inform visually impaired users that the coast is clear to go. The junction is also heavily used by school children and that’s why the lights are the best and safest system for the area,” he said.
These particular lights will, in local folklore, be forever associated with the late Ned Lyons of Cordal.
Castleisland was a traffic-light-free zone up to the early 1990s. On the morning the lights were officially ‘launched’ a Garda from the local station was dispatched to keep an eye on the lights and our attitudes to them.
Enter Ned Lyons from the top-of-the-town, perched on his cart and drawn by his fine grey mare.
Straight through the red light they pranced and were going fine until the Garda stepped out and halted Ned and the grey mare.
“Did you see the lights Ned,” asked the lawman. “I did,” said Ned. “They’re nice faith.”
How could you answer that?