Galway to lose out on Greenway Funding due to Opposition
Opposition by Galway farmers has forced the Minister of Transport and Tourism, Pascal O'Donoghue, to put plans on hold for the Dublin Galway greenway in East Galway. Reports today in several news sources have confirmed our previous reports that large scale opposition from landowners in Galway has forced the Minister to rethink the project,
The minister has decided to allocate funding to other sections of the Dublin Galway greenway. Kildare and Meath look set to benefit from this decision. Planning permission is in place for the Royal Canal greenway in Meath and Kildare. The plan is to connect the Royal Canal greenway in Westmeath all the way to Maynooth. Just last week, Westmeath County Council officially opened the Athlone Mullingar (old rail trail), Huge crowds are already using this excellent greenway.
In other connected developments, Longford Council apparently have plans to extend the Royal Canal greenway all the way to the Shannon at Clondra and also are about to put signage up on a fantastic lake side trail along the shores of Lough Ree back into Athlone. With Minister O'Donoghue allocating immediate funds for the Kildare /Meath end of the royal canal we will hopefully see hoards of cyclists arriving into the midlands region. A multi day cycle loop of the Royal Canal/Lough Ree and Old Rail Trail will be very appealing to these visitors
It's possible that the Galway farmers are celebrating today and we have always argued that they have a right to be properly consulted about this project. It is a real pity that common sense didnt come to bear in recent days. In the longer term these farmers' communities may be the biggest losers as they miss out on millions of Euro in tourism spending from these greenway routes,
I am in favour of the greenway and disappointed in the delay. However the spokeperson for the greenway on RTE this morning (7 Nov) did the campaign more harm then good. He was throwing out accusations about the IFA and while I have sympathy for what he said the effect will probably be to harden farming opposition to the project and gain nationwide support for farmers.ReplyDelete
Thanks Luke, I haven't heard that piece on RTE. I will check it out and place on this blog for others to listen to. There has been a lot of vilifying on both sides. Lets hope that the space afford by the minister's decision allows for some rebuilding of the relationships that are needed to make this project work.ReplyDelete