Castleisland By-Pass Closed Today Until 3:15pm

The crash causing scenery of Kerry as it opens up on the N21 Castleisland By-Pass at Mullaghmarkey. ©Photograph: by John Reidy

Castleisland made it onto the AA Roadwatch bulletins and Morning Ireland this morning – and with good cause. The N21 Castleisland By-Pass was closed at 9:15am this morning and will remain so up to 3:30pm this afternoon for repairs to the road centre ‘wire and post’ barriers.

The AA Roadwatch issued the following: “The N21 will be closed for works at the Castleisland Bypass from 9:15am to 3:30pm today (18th). Traffic will be diverted via Castleisland itself.”

Alternative Routes

Kerry County Council is advising motorists to take alternative routes. This means that all or most of the traffic which zip through the by-pass every day will now try to funnel its way through Castleisland. And through Castleisland in its current state.

The increase in traffic will encounter water pipe replacement work at Lower Main Street and single line traffic there.

Delays at Dysart

Then a mile or so out the Killarney Road the traffic will meet the hold-up around the Dysart Bridge project on which preparatory work has been well under way for the past couple of weeks.

More that anything else, patience and understanding will be in great demand from this morning.

But, it’s worth keeping in mind that all will be open again at 3:30pm this evening. Then we can turn our thought back to turning the turf and Dysart Bridge and other important matters.

Batch of Repairs

During one of the first major batch of repairs on the central barriers I sought an explanation as to why this was happening here.

It seems such a particularly Castleisland phenomenon that there must be something unique at play here.

That was in 2014 and the then Castleisland based area engineer, Brendan Mulhearn had the task of closing the four year old by-pass for repairs.

Eye of the Beholder

It was Cllr. Bobby O’Connell who, with the eye of the beholder, declared: “Do you know that it’s because of the Kerry scenery that the by-pass is being closed?”

Motorists are becoming so spellbound by the Kerry scenery from parts of the by-pass that they actually lose control of their cars.

Who would ? But Cllr. O’Connell’s theory was somewhat upheld by Mr. Mulhearn – who agreed that the statistics do stack up behind that line of thought.

And, further proof can be found in the fact that the vast majority – if not all – of the posts in the central barriers are bowing towards the scenery which caused their demise.

Quality of the View

Cllr O’Connell said that the extraordinary quality of the view of Ireland’s highest mountains rising over the Castleisland countryside is behind the high rate of collisions.

And Mr. Mulhearn added a statistic of his own which added validation to Cllr. O’Connell’s theory:

“It appears that most of the accidents happened on good days when ‘The Reeks’ were at their very best.

Minor Crashes

“That particular area has seen a lot of minor crashes into the central dividers there. That fact alone means that the dividers are doing what they’re supposed to.

“Without them we’d see a lot of head-on crashed here and, yes the majority of these incidents are on the side of traffic heading down into the most scenic stretch of the roadway there,” Mr Mulhearn said.


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