Footpath wanted at The Rock: Katie Connolly and son AJ, The Rock NS pupil, Faith Quille who has a petition, Donal Mooney, Rock GAA Club, school principal Liam Ahern, Cllr Paddy Bracken
Passing motorists on a busy Laois road have made complaints to the local GAA club about young players walking and cycling on the road.
A campaign for Laois County Council to install a final 300m section of footpath between The Rock and Mountmellick is being supported by The Rock GAA Club.
James Murphy chairperson revealed to the Leinster Express that he has had calls from passing drivers who looked up the club online to complain that people are using the road.
“I have received calls of complaint in the past from passing motorists that we are allowing players to walk out onto the road or cycle out, but there is not a lot we can do.
“We have a lot of young adult members. We are in the parish of Mountmellick. They walk and cycle to the pitch but where the path stops is extremely dangerous. A path would be of great benefit for them to safely get to and from training and matches.
The Rock NS which has over 200 pupils, has been requesting the path for the past two years. A path runs from Mountmellick as far as the Debicot residential area, and a path from the school runs back towards the town as far as the GAA grounds. A 300m section is needed to join both and make a full 2km route. Resident Faith Quille last week started a petition seeking the path and it has over 500 signatures. Petition link at bottom of story.
James says the footpath would benefit Mountmellick.
"As a club we are 100% behind this petition. I’m glad Faith has brought this to the fore again. Anything we can do we will do.
“We are planning to put a walking and running track in our club that would benefit the town. If there was a path people could walk out and around the pitch, and save them driving to Emo which they can't even do now because of the Covid restrictions.
“We have been in contact with the council in the past and they did examine the road. The estimate of €250,000 looks like it is overcoating it. Even at €200,000 that is an awful lot of money. It can be done for less,” he said.
Cllr Paddy Bracken from Mountmellick is also calling for the footpath. Laois County Council has said it is examining potential funding options this year to pay for it.