Tom Turley, IFA Connacht Chairman, has confirmed that the Association will commence discussions with Galway County Council regarding the proposed Dublin-Galway Greenway. This follows a clear commitment given by Galway and Roscommon County Councillors that they will not tolerate compulsory land take or severing of farms in order to facilitate a cycle track in the county.
Speaking after a meeting in Ballinasloe of over 250 affected landowners, Mr Turley said, “The heavy handed approach of the National Roads Authority and local authorities must now end. It is no longer acceptable for these agencies to threaten to use CPOs on farmers for this cycle track. Farmers and County Councillors are now speaking with one voice – CPOs are off the table and farms must not be carved up for a cycle track. This is the commitment given by Councillors and this is the basis that we are commencing discussions.”
Pat Murphy, IFA’s Galway County Chairman, has welcomed the offer of the Cathaoirleach of Galway County Council, Mary Hoade, to participate in these discussions on behalf of the Councillors. “The proposed Greenway has a role to play in the development of the rural economy in the county. However, farmers’ livelihoods must not be impacted. There is a clear need for the Council to start again and engage meaningfully with farmers. Mayor Hoarde will have an important role in making this happen.”
John Hanley, IFA’s Roscommon County Chairman, has called for the full use of existing infrastructure, such as the old N6 road and other state land, such as Coillte and Bord na Mona property. “Farmers should only be impacted by this proposed development as a last resort and the cycle track will only happen if voluntary agreements are reached with landowners.”