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20/09/2021

A Donegal town vibrates to shake rattle and roll . . . from the manholes!

One local in Ballybofey thought she had heard a gunshot

A Donegal town  vibrates to shake rattle and roll  . . . from the manholes!

Local councillor, Martin Harley at one of the offending manholes

It's a case of shake, rattle and roll on the main streets in Ballybofey and Stranorlar these days but before you pull on your dancing shoes, this is more a case of ear-splitting clatter than a loud rock band.

The offending covers in both towns are gradually sinking and tilting on a busy national primary route which sees thousands of vehicles a day.

The fixtures no longer fit snuggly in the road and each time they are struck by the wheels of a vehicle it so loud that one resident has likened it to the sound of gunshots.

“It's very noisy and when the lorries or the heavy vehicles go over, you want to hear that. What has happened is over time, cars and lorries going over it have made it move in its setting.”

He claimed if the cover had been set properly in the first place, it would not have come loose.

Another local who walks past the rattling cover twice a day to and from work, said: “It actually makes me jump. It sounds like gunshots. It's been like that for a very long time. I am sure it could be fixed and I hope it is because it's so annoying.”

Local councillor, Martin Harley, said he has been raising this issue for a long time. The increase in the volumes of noise was proving a headache day and night for the local residents living or working along the the main street in Ballybofey and Stranorlar, he said.

“The problem seems to be that some manholes belong to eircom, some to the ESB and some belong to the county council and getting them together to fix them at the one time. I think eircom and the ESB should pay the council to fix the lot. It would be the most sensible solution instead of bringing separate contractors to do them individually,” he said.

He added Transport Infrastructure Ireland, who were in charge as it was a national road, gave the council a budget to work from each year but manhole covers were low down the priority list.

“It's a massive noise problem as well as a safety issue. The push to bring people back to live and work in town centres is not helped by a racket like this and it's not just a problem in the Twin Towns, most towns in the county experience this every day,” he said.

Donegal County Council was contacted for a comment but no reply was forthcoming at time of going to press.

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