Farmers oppose land takeover for proposed Dublin-Galway Greenway

‘We will not tolerate any effort to railroad through the project’ -ICSA

Development would ‘split farms.’

Sligo News File Online.

The ICSA has warned that farmers “will not tolerate the invasion of their lands” for a proposed Dublin-Galway Greenway.

Seamus Sherlock, Chair, ICSA Rural Development Committee.
Seamus Sherlock, Chair, ICSA Rural Development Committee. Farmers opposed to greenway plans.

Trumpeted as Ireland’s first cross-country cycle route, the 210 km development is Ireland’s contribution to an international cycleway project linking Galway in the west to Moscow in the east.

The 210 km development was announced as “a strategic government project” by Transport Minister Leo Varadkar in 2012.

But local farmers are implacably opposed to the plan.

Chairman of the ICSA Rural Development Committee Seamus

Former Minister for Transport Leo Varadkar - plans for Dublin - Galway route with link to Moscow
Former Minister for Transport Leo Varadkar – plans for Dublin – Galway route with link to Moscow

Sherlock said his organisation and local landowners “will not tolerate any effort to railroad through” the Athlone to Galway section of the scheme.

Commenting after the current Minister for Transport Shane Ross spoke of compensation, Mr. Sherlock insisted that “compensation is not necessarily the issue.”

He said landowners “do not want their family farms divided in two and ICSA will stand firm against any attempt to force farmers into accepting that they have no choice in the matter.

“Any suggestion that a CPO disguised as compensation could be used to force the project through against the wishes of the farmers will be strenuously resisted.”

Pascal O'Donohoe, former Minister for Transport launching Galway bike scheme
Pascal O’Donohoe, former Minister for Transport launching Galway bike scheme

He added that the ICSA “fully stands behind farmers in the region and we share their legitimate concerns about the negative impact of a Greenway route that splits farms or which interferes in any way with the business or the privacy or security of individual farmers.

“It must be understood that this is not a piece of essential infrastructure but an experimental tourism project and no tourism project can be a success without the goodwill and active, positive engagement of locals.”

Moscow
Moscow

The Dublin to Galway Cycleway, funded by the Department of Transport, is described as “part of the EuroVelo network of long-distance cycling trails in Europe. It will be the first leg of the proposed international Capitals Route (EuroVelo 2) linking Galway in the west to Moscow in the east.