Where it has not done so and a road user sustains damage to their vehicle because of this lack of maintenance, the legislation allows them to claim compensation from the Department, but not this time.
Mr. Thornton's partner and 10-month-old son had the shock of their lives when the car bumped off the pothole on the road between Derrygonnelly and Monea back in January. At the time, Mr. Thornton told The Impartial Reporter's Julie Kenwell about the incident.
"She drove into the pothole and the tyre just burst. She got a bit of a shock all right. It beggars belief that in this day and age we have roads that are left to get into that state. I don't know how long it has been there but this is a big hole -- it didn't appear over night," he said.
Mr. Thornton then sent a letter of complaint to Road Service asking to be reimbursed for the money he paid out in getting the family car repaired and last week he received a letter from them telling him that an investigation had been completed but liability for the claim was denied.
The letter stated that the Department's records showed that a system of inspection and repair was in operation, and it believed that it could show that Leighan Road was being maintained to an adequate standard and added that the road in question is inspected for defects on a four monthly basis and in addition to this regular system of inspection, the Department also has a system for responding to complaints from members of the public who have identified potential hazards on the roadway.
In the letter, a spokesperson stated: "The inspection before the accident took place on November 21, 2011 and no actionable defect was noted during this inspection."
They say the pothole was brought to their attention on February 1, 2012 due to a public complaint and was repaired on February 6, 2012, within the time-scale set by the Department for repairs to defect of this type.
Road Service says it is satisfied that it can demonstrate that it was carrying out a regular system of maintenance of Leighan Road.
But unhappy with the response, Mr. Thornton says he intends to appeal the decision.
"I am not happy at all, I am disgusted. I think this is a poor explanation and intend to seek legal action," he said.