'Walls can be replaced but lives can’t': Cork woman calls for traffic calming measures after crash outside home

'Walls can be replaced but lives can’t': Cork woman calls for traffic calming measures after crash outside home

Jennifer Buckley pictured at her family home in Cobh. Photos by Gerard McCarthy.

A CORK teacher whose front garden was impacted by a car crash outside their home said it was a miracle that none of her family was killed.

Jennifer Buckley from Cobh is calling for improved traffic calming measures following the terrifying incident on Tay Road that saw a motorist crash into their front wall, propelling a concrete pillar and scattering car parts across her front garden.

The car’s engine was later found in a field across the road following the accident at 10am on Sunday.

Jennifer said that she did not harbour any resentment towards the motorist involved.

However, she emphasised that she believed it reinforced the urgent need for traffic calming measures in the area.

She has now reached out to local councillors in the hope of saving lives.

“My fear is that it will take a fatality for something to be done but the more we highlight this the stronger our plea will become,” Ms Buckley said. 

Thinking about what could have happened makes us count our blessings.

“However, our fear is that someone else in the area might not be so lucky. Walls can be replaced but lives can’t.”

She recalled the horrific sound from the crash which occurred on the road outside her family home.

“When I heard that sound I didn’t know what I was opening my door to. Thankfully, nobody was seriously injured. The alternative would have been so much worse.”

Ms Buckley said that her parents Christopher and Mary often enjoy gardening at the front of the house.

“They were in shock as anyone would be, but they were able to walk away. Mum loves her garden and is often tending to it at the front. You also have a lot of people cycling and walking on that same road.”

The local secondary school teacher warned that lives can be ruined in a split second.

“Only this morning I woke up and wondered if this had actually happened. A wall can be fixed but lives can’t.

Damage at the home of Jen Buckley , Tay road Ballyleary, Cobh.
Damage at the home of Jen Buckley , Tay road Ballyleary, Cobh.

“All we want is to get across to drivers, young and old, that lives can be shattered in a split second. We are lucky that the concrete pillars blocked the car from coming through our door and windows. When you imagine the force it takes to move those pillars it reminds you of the damage that might have been done.”

She said that locals have been calling for traffic calming measures for a long time.

“We don’t want it to take a fatality for something to be done. I’ve grown up in this close-knit community and we’re just hoping that something productive can be done to prevent a tragedy.”

Local councillor, Cathal Rasmussen, said he has been working hard to combat the issue.

“This stretch of road is undoubtedly the most dangerous stretch of road here for speed,” he said.

“It’s very popular with walkers who risk their lives daily just walking there,” Mr Rasmussen said. “Residents are afraid when entering and leaving their houses due to the constant speed of some drivers. I had a number of motions looking for the introduction of traffic calming measures.

“Initially, the local engineers agreed to install the electronic speed signs but more needs to be done. I am still looking for speed bumps or some other form of speed calming measures to be introduced as it really is the only answer.”

The councillor has been working with gardaí to improve the situation.

“I met with the local Garda Inspector and he agreed to implement more speed checks,” Mr Rasmussen said. “One of the issues is it’s dangerous for the gardaí to pull in as well.

“I also requested that a speed van be located on this stretch of road but we need an area off the road to facilitate this.

“Discussions are ongoing in relation to a suitable location.”

A garda spokesperson confirmed to The Echo that “gardaí are investigating a single-vehicle collision that occurred in the Tay Road area of Cobh on 06/06/2021 at 10am”.

“A car collided with a wall in the area. No injuries occurred. Investigations are ongoing.”

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