Saturday, March 11, 2023

A long-serving member of Mayo County Council has expressed anger and disappointment that there are no plans for greenways in Erris.

Cllr Gerry Coyle made his comments at last week’s meeting of Westport-Belmullet Municipal District after hearing that Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) is committed to 1.5km of urban greenway through Newport town and a 4.2km greenway from Belclare to Murrisk, both to be completed in 2024.

Cllr Gerry Coyle.

Paul Hyland, of Mayo County Council’s National Roads Office, told councillors that €1.35m has been allocated for Active Travel and greenway projects in 2023, and the council hopes to construct 5km of active travel schemes over the next three years, along with 60km of greenway in the next five years.A 9.5km greenway from Achill Sound to Bunnacurry is currently under construction and will be completed in the coming years. However, Mr Hyland could not give a date on when the Murrisk and Louisburgh/Roonagh greenway will be completed.

Westport councillors Christy Hyland and Peter Flynn both expressed dissatisfaction with the lack of progress on the greenway at Louisburgh, the latter saying the county has failed when it comes to greenways.

Cllr Coyle was very frustrated to see there were a host of projects planned for West Mayo, but nothing for Erris. He said it was especially ironic that this report was being presented at a meeting in Belmullet.

“The presentation was good, but the information is a disaster,” he said. “Show me one kilometre from Mulranny to here (Belmullet) on that. Show me any greenway in Erris. You could have gone to the Westport meeting and presented this. We don’t need to be here, we could have stayed at home because every single bit of it doesn’t concern our area.

“We have sent almost €7m up to Mayo County Council for the gas project and the wind and we have more windmills in Bellacorick that another few million will be going up. What comes down?

“Somebody must be embarrassed coming down here to a meeting in Belmullet with this report. Somebody decided to come down to Belmullet with this today, at some stage along the way someone must’ve said, ‘What’s in that for Belmullet, for Blacksod, for Belderrig, for Ballycroy, for Doohoma, for Geesala?’ It’s as if we don’t exist.”

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