Scores of local residents from the Derrybeg, Carnagat and Parkhead areas of Newry joined with Saoradh, on Saturday [Feb 3], to demand the introduction of vital road safety measures after a three-year battle.
Placards calling for vehicles to slow down were held aloft as hundreds of leaflets were distributed to passing motorists. In a token gesture the participants blocked the road whilst the lights were red, which then brought the successful event to a conclusion.
Speaking from the protest, chairperson of Saoradh An Iúir, Oliver White thanked everyone for attending.
Oliver then introduced local community activist and Saoradh spokesperson Stephen Murney to give a background on the issue.
Stephen explained “The huge turnout and widespread support from local residents for Saoradh today is representive of the anger and seriousness of this issue.
“We are joined here today with residents of all ages, from the youngest children to our respected pensioners, all of whom are effected by the dangers posed on this road.
“Almost three years to the day we were guaranteed that the road safety measures we secured would be put in place. This community is still waiting.
“There are near misses on a weekly basis at these traffic light, with cars speeding through when the lights are red.
“There have been several fatalities at this spot over the years and this community don’t want to see another one. Family members and relatives of those killed in those accidents have joined with us at this protest today. We know it is difficult for them and they are very much welcome.”
Murney concluded “This isn’t the end of this issue. We will be contacting the Roads Service and the Department of Infrastructure to show them the anger within this community and we will be urging them to implement the guarantees that they gave us three years ago before someone else is seriously injured or worse”.