Friday, June 07, 2019

A major new study of the commercial, tourism and community/social potential of the Moy Estuary in north Mayo/west Sligo is being undertaken and local communities and interested parties are being urged to participate in the exercise.

Ballina Lions Club is the promoter of this exciting new initiative that aims to harness and monopolise on the huge potential of the highly scenic Moy Estuary area that is now a discovery point on Ireland’s hugely successful Wild Atlantic Way tourist route.

The Lions Club has secured funding under the National Rural Development Programme (LEADER) which is administered by IRD North Mayo West Sligo Ltd (Moy Valley Resources) for a feasibility study of the area and its potential.

It will be compiled by a leading consultant in this area, Enda Candon of First Western with the aim of identifying suitable and feasible developments that will generate economic and social benefits for the area.

Ballina Lions Club is merely the promoter of this project and stresses that it will work in conjunction with all of the relevant stakeholders including Coillte, Inland Fisheries Ireland, Mayo Co Council, Sligo Co Council and Failte Ireland as well as local communities to deliver the study.

Lions Club member, David Mullakey, remarked that while the club usually confines its activities to the charitable domain it is pushing the envelope in terms of facilitating the feasibility study of the Moy Estuary because it recognises the importance of supporting the local communities in having a say as to how that area is developed going forward.

And this is not just open to the Ballina community either. We are happy to hear from anyone with an interest in theestuary including the communities and businesses of Killala and Enniscrone,” he stressed.

To that end a wide-ranging series of public consultations will be undertaken over the coming weeks facilitating all interested individuals or organisations to have their viewpoint taken into consideration.

The consultation will be comprised of well-advertised public meetings and through submissions which can be made in writing or online.

Lions Club members Henry Bourke stressed: “We are only facilitating this we have no input into what the study will be looking at and that is why we are holding the public consultation. It’s so that anyone with an interest in the river can have their say.

Fellow club member, Michael McNamara added: “It’s important to stress that there is no guarantee that any or all submissions will be realised because they have to be feasible but this is a wonderful opportunity for the community to demonstrate that this area is alive and well and willing to fight for its future.”

Joe Doherty, president of Ballina Lions Club said: “We are delighted to be in a position to facilitate this important project.

The Moy Estuary and Quay area are important in terms of industrial heritage as well as environmental and ecological significance.

The aim of any developments undertaken there will be to ensure that this natural resource is developed in a sustainable way to ensure it retains and returns value to the local community from a commercial, social and environmental perspective.

With the growth of tourism in recent years and the remarkable success of the Wild Atlantic Way, it is timely that this major study is taking place. It will place local organisations, Mayo Co Council and other partners in a position to secure large funding to implement the new projects through programmes such as the Rural Regeneration and Development Fund.”

Operating since the 1970s, the Ballina Lions Club is an integral part of that community and works to support the efforts of voluntary, business and community groups to enhance the economic, social, cultural and community well-being of the area.

The club would like to thank Mr Brendan Mitchell, Crockets Quay Bistro, Ballina and Mr John McGowan, Ballina Beverages for their generous financial support for this project.

You can subscribe for email updates on the public consultations via this link: https://www.ballinalionsclub.ie/moy-estuary-study 

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