Principal of The Rock National School in Laois speaks in wake of yesterday's cattle truck crash

Principal of The Rock National School in Laois speaks in wake of yesterday's cattle truck crash

Crash scene at The Rock, Mountmellick on October 4. Photo: Denis Byrne

The principal of the Laois primary school close to the site of a road traffic accident yesterday October 5, said they are still waiting for new speed limit signs to be installed at the school.

Liam Aherne principal of The Rock National School, said while the accident at 8.05am did not affect the school day for his 216 pupils, road safety was "always a concern".

"Road safety is always a concern, for our children parents and staff, it would be a high priority. There is a large volume of traffic on this road. The Gardaí have been out before to monitor it, and we would be delighted to see them out more often," he told the Leinster Express.

The school has a 30km/h speed limit, but it is largely not observed by drivers on the busy R423 road from the motorway to Mountmellick and the west. It is listed for a new 'periodic limit' which will drop to 30km during school drops and collections, and rise back to 50km/h outside of those times. It is hoped this will be a more realistic limit for drivers to obey.

"That new limit will help, but we are still waiting for it. People have been pulled for speeding at the school," Mr Aherne said.

His pupils walk most days along the same path where a cattle trailer broke free from a lorry yesterday and smashed through fencing into a field. Nine cattle met their death due to their injuries.

"The children go up and down that path to the Rock GAA club," he said. 

Shortly after the crash scene was reopened by Gardaí, the children again walked that path to the sports ground. The path is outside the school's 30km limit.

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