A contractor working on behalf of eir, formerly eircom, erected temporary traffic lights without permission on a road that had already been designated as a diversionary route for other major works in the area.
The works by eir should have been completed last week however these over ran and continued this week without Clare County Council being informed.
The unscheduled works, which involved the erection of temporary traffic lights, resulted in major traffic hold-ups on Tuesday leaving bewildered and already discommoded motorists backed up for over a kilometre in both directions on a country road.
The Newpark Road through Gaurus and onto the Quin Road (R469) in Ennis Co Clare had been designated and signposted as a diversionary route from major water-mains works that have closed the R352, a major artery to and from the town.
The road leads into Ennis from the M18 motorway and east Clare but has been closed as part of an Irish Water water-mains rehabilitation scheme.
While Irish Water and their contractor have been strongly criticised for the poor signage associated with the works, motorists were left infuriated by the unscheduled works on one of the diversion routes they were forced to take.
A council spokesman confirmed: “A road opening license was secured by Eircom contractors from Clare County Council to carry out works on the road in question last week. These works were scheduled for completion last week.”
“The Council understands the work being undertaken by a contractor on behalf of Eircom overran into Tuesday but were completed on Tuesday evening,” the local authority said.
Councillor Johnny Flynn said: “I was annoyed to find that road backed up with traffic due to contractors on behalf of Eir digging up the road that had been recently resurfaced by the Council.”
“The public are looking for greater co-ordination of these works and there is a body of work to be done by me and others who understand the nuts and bolts of road works to explain that it is not that simple to line up all the utility companies to carry out work often in restricted road areas,” he added.
The company has yet to respond to questions, submitted on Wednesday, regarding the incident.