Pothole JCB could help fast repair of Fermanagh roads

DRIVERS fed up of being snared by potholes could have their prayers answered if a revolutionary new machine is rolled out across Ireland.

Potholes have been the bane of many a motorist’s life – and Fermanagh is no different with a number of our roads in need of a number of holes being filled in.

A motion raised by Cllr Bernice Swift – and seconded by Cllr Sheamus Greene – at a special emergency Fermanagh & Omagh District Council meeting was overwhelming passed with only two abstentions to contact the Department for Infrastructure (DfI) to look at investing in a JCB Pothole Pro machine.


Louth County Council in the Republic has become the first authority on the island to use the machine which has the potential to have their cost of road repair work and fill up to 700 potholes a month.

Cllr Swift said: “The prototype JCB machine introduced by Louth County Council reads as a very useful design specific machine to sort out the very real and practical problems of potholes.

“The Minister and all MLA’s responsible for the Department for Infrastructure who is the agency responsible for all roads maintenance need to be held to account and take responsibility to ensure the correct and appropriate investment and the viability of a possible Pothole Pro machine to provide necessary solutions.

“More than enough money has already been wasted in subscribing to Stormont’s inactive Government to deliver safe and proper roads infrastructure for everyone locally.”

During the meeting, other Councillors gave support to Cllr Swift’s proposal.

Cllr John McClaughry stated that “the machine would be a benefit to the road service and would free up employees to do other work as the machine does four times the work of our road team”.

Cllr Robert Irvine added: “This Council should lobby the DfI and say if you transfer a certain amount of your revenue and capital resources, we could look at buying this machine and start to carry out the repairs ourselves.”


However, before any agreement is made to bring this machine to Fermanagh, Cllr Swift did raise the issue that given that any dealings with JCB is in line with the Council’s own BDS policies with allegations of JCB equipment being used in Israel’s illegal settlement programme in Palestine that has seen many of the latter nation’s citizens lose their homes.

Cllr Swift added: “Before the consideration of any JCB-like products, I want to caution central Government on the procurement of machinery being used in the destruction of Palestinian villages in the Israeli-occupied West Bank are not used before we are satisfied that fully compliant human rights impacts are not linked to Gaza demolition and a commitment provided that they are human rights compliant.”

In response to Cllr Swift’s query on Palestine, a JCB spokesperson said: “The various allegations made in recent years that JCB either contributes to, is responsible for, or is otherwise linked in any way to adverse human rights abuses in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, either directly or indirectly, were firmly rejected by the UK National Contact Point in November 2021.

“As an organisation JCB does not condone any form of human rights abuse and we have a consistent record of providing urgent and substantial support in response to natural disasters around the world.”

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