Gary Hickey at Hickey's Lane in Ashbourne.
Rural communities throughout Meath who are living on dangerous, potholed roads were dealt a massive blow this week with the news that Meath County Council has had to suspend all road repairs, due to the county's 48 per cent shortfall in revenue generated from the Household Charge.
A stark warning that the funding cuts could put lives at risk as the condition of rural roads continue to deteriorate has been made, as the council confirmed that it has had to suspend all road repairs funded from the council's own resources, pending clarification on the council's overall funding situation.
The bleak news came as communities on Ethelstown Lane, Kells and Hickey's Lane, Ashbourne highlighted the dangerous condition of the roads in their areas and many other communities around the county continued their campaign to have roads repaired.
Last week Meath County Council was informed that its funding would be cut by €2.6 million because of non payment of the Household Charge. Some 52 per cent of householders in the county have paid the charge.
A spokesperson for Meath County Council said they were examining their funding sources, which includes funding of approximately €335,000 for class three roads.
"Pending clarification of the council's overall funding situation, all expenditure on road repairs that requires funding from Meath County Council's own funding sources has been suspended,"she said.
"A final decision will be taken on all expenditure items as soon as is possible and the council is not in a position to say, at this time, precisely what works will have to be deferred to meet the suggested spending cut of €2.6 million". She said that if there was a surge in payment of the household charge, it would change the situation.
On Hickey's Lane in Ashbourne residents say they are taking their lives in their hands going out on the road. Gary Hickey said that it is a major health and safety issue.
"It is just a matter of time before somebody is injured. There are six families living on the lane and they include children and an elderly lady.
To read the full story see this week's Meath Chronicle.