Thursday, May 13, 2021

Locals in West Mayo have called for an update on proposed extensions to the Great Western Greenway to Louisburgh, Roonagh and Clare Island, writes Paul O’Malley.

If locals in Louisburgh, Roonagh and Clare Island get their way, the extension of the Great Western Greenway would complete a loop around Clew Bay.

If completed, the extension and other planned trails would complete a loop around Clew Bay.

A campaign is being waged by communities in west Mayo with road signs appearing recently declaring support for the proposed works.

Tommy Morahan, a local resident and member of the Louisburgh Community Futures group, told the Western People that the community is hoping to hear about a timeline for the proposed works in the near future.

“We look down the road and see what a success the Greenway has been in places like Newport and Mulranny and we feel like we’re missing out. The idea has been mooted since 2011 and there’s a lot of interest in making it happen but it just hasn’t. The community wants to know what is going on. We want to know is there a real timeline in which this is expected to get done.”

Mr Morahan said the expanded greenway would have immediate economic and social benefits for the area.

“It would encourage the young people in the area who have ambition to come up with indigenous businesses to operate along the greenway during the summer season. The other side is value of having a safe place to walk in the local environment.”

Westport-based Cllr Peter Flynn said a lack of progress in relation to planning means it could take over five years in order to get the Greenway to Louisburgh and Roonagh. However, this timescale could be shortened to 18 months if the council made compulsory purchase orders on the required lands to run a cycle lane from Lecanvey to Louisburgh.

“This would leave the possibility to then look at a more scenic route after the event, but that doesn’t delay the works for another five to ten years,” he said.

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