IFA Environment Chairman Thomas Cooney has said that consultation with landowners is the only way proposed greenways will be developed.
Reacting to recent comments by Transport Minister Shane Ross, he said, “The majority of farmers are simply not prepared to have their farms cut in two to accommodate a cycle track. Farmers are also genuinely concerned about the rural security, littering and loitering issues that may also emerge along these proposed paths through farmers’ lands.”
Thomas Cooney has called on the Department of Transport to immediately commence a consultation with IFA and listen to the issues of farmers who are affected by proposed greenways. A programme of measures must be developed that safeguards farmers’ rights and the integrity of their holding.
Concluding, he said, “After agriculture, tourism is often one of the most significant activities in rural Ireland, generating employment and sustaining economic activity. Greenways can play an integral part in maximising the tourism potential of rural Ireland. However, farmers who host such greenways must not be unduly disrupted, if they are expected to facilitate such developments.”