Roads around Slane were among the worst-hit in the country during the Arctic weather conditions and were impassable on several occasions during the past week.
Glassallen Hill, on the N2 north of Slane, and the N51 road from Slane to Drogheda, were among the worst affected areas while locals say it was a miracle nobody was killed in an accident in the village itself on Tuesday night of last week.
A lorry jackknifed in icy conditions on the steep hill and part of the vehicle ended up on the footpath.
“Slane is so dangerous even without icy conditions, and this Arctic spell has just proven how badly we need the by-pass,” said local councillor Wayne Harding.
The N2 generally from Ashbourne to north of Collon was among the worst affected roads in the country and from Kilmoon to Collon was closed for a period yesterday (Tuesday ) morning following fresh falls of snow on Monday night and Tuesday morning.
Meath County Council engaged snowploughs to clear the road and snow-ploughing also took place on Monday night on the the N51 between Navan and Drogheda to ensure it remained passable, it being a hospital route.
Gardaí were urging motorists to avoid the N2 on several occasions last week, as a number of trucks and coaches were stuck on the hills surrounding the village and also at Glasallen Hill between Slane and Collon. Motorists were advised to take the M1 via Ardee instead.
Local farmer Pat Barron assisted in pulling trucks up the hill at Glasallen on a number of occasions, while villagers in both Slane and Collon went out to help motorists who were stranded in the snow on Monday night and late last week.
Footpaths in Slane were also extremely dangerous following last week’s snowfalls and the Civil Defence and Meath County Council worked together to clear them.
Cllr Harding paid tribute to the council’s outdoor staff and to the Civil Defence volunteers for their work in the Slane area over over the past week. He also paid tribute to the Order of Malta who had assisted in bringing staff to nursing homes over the icy spell.
He was critical of the fact that the road from the M1 to the World Heritage Site at Newgrange was not on the council’s gritting map. “If this road was on the gritting map, it would keep the visitor centre open and would also alleviate the problems in a large settlement like Donore,” he said.