Clare County Council is planning to demolish two of the best-known and most photographed buildings in Ennistymon to provide space for a roundabout to alleviate traffic congestion.
The two mid-19th century buildings, both protected structures, are located at one of the busiest junctions in the town, on streets that lead out to Lahinch, Ennis and Ballyvaughan. Known as Blake’s Corner, the threatened buildings are on the N67 and N85 national secondary routes. Their proposed demolition is known to have the support of the National Roads Authority.
According to Tom Tiernan, senior engineer with the county council, the impact of tourism and “huge attractions” such as the Cliffs of Moher have caused “regular traffic back-ups” on approaches to the junction.
“It would be irresponsible of Clare County Council not to actively pursue resolution of the very significant traffic-flow problems created because of the layout of the junction,” he told The Irish Times.
Although the council was “conscious of the architectural sensitivity of these buildings”, there was “no feasible alternative [to demolition] if the necessary junction improvements are to be implemented”.