Fairies blamed for hollow in road


A mysterious dip or hollow which keeps appearing on one of the major national primary routes in the southwest has baffled council engineers and led to publicly voiced suspicions by one councillor that "the fairies" are at work.

The N22 at Curraglass near Killarney passes through an extensive area of standing stones, stone circles and ancient monuments on the foothills of the Paps towards the Cork-Kerry border. It is an area rich in folklore and fairy stories. A number of place names refer to "lioses" or fairy forts.

Monuments put up to mark the new road testify to the area's rich mythology.

Two years ago, the new road suddenly developed a noticeable dip, several metres long, and repairs were carried out by Kerry County Council.

These included excavation of the road as well as the introduction of rock-fill material in an operation lasting some weeks.

However, the road has dipped again. Now Kerry county councillor for the Killarney area Danny Healy-Rae (Independent) has called for a detailed report as to how this could have recurred.

In a formal motion put before a council meeting on "the cause of the hollow on the N22", Cllr Healy-Rae has asked: "Is it fairies at work?"

However, the council's road department suggest it may be due to "a deeper underlying subsoil/geotechnical problem".