The Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Mr Paschal Donohoe TD, was in Limerick on Monday to officiate at a sod-turning that will kick-start the N21 Killarney Pole to Barnagh Phase 2 scheme.

Limerick City and County Council entered into a €3.8m contract with P&D Lydon Plant Hire Ltd. for the construction of the second and final phase of the N21 Killarney Pole to Barnagh Road Safety Scheme in late December 2014, and Minister Dono-hoe was on hand to officially turn the sod on the second phase on Monday outside Newcastle West.

The sod-turning follows the announcement last year by the National Roads Authority (NRA) of the allocation of funding for the completion of the scheme, located about 3 km west of Newcastle West on the N21 Limerick to Tralee national road. The first phase of the scheme, between Barnagh and Garryduff Cross, was completed in March 2013, while this second and final phase involves the realignment and widening of the existing N21 and significant improvements to the existing junction at the Killarney Pole. Con-struction is expected to be completed by November 2015.

Welcoming the sod-tur-ning, Cllr Jerome Scanlan, Cathaoirleach of the Newcastle West Municipal District, said the land on which the road is being constructed was acquired with the agreement of the local landowners and a debt of gratitude is owed to them for the cooperation and goodwill shown to the council during the land acquisition stage. “It is also fair to acknowledge the efforts of many in the local community and action groups, strongly supported by the local area councillors, who cam-paigned vigorously over the years for these improvement works to be undertaken,” he said.