Farmers fear cycle route will split their land in half
The planned Dublin to Galway greenway remains in limbo as farmers in Galway vow to keep up their opposition to it.
Hundreds of farmers have signed petitions against the cycle route, saying they will not allow their lands to be used. They claim the current route will split farms in half.
The Irish Farmers' Association (IFA) and local landowners are urging Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) to reroute the greenway. They want to see the route moved alongside the old N6 road, which would not impact on any farmland and is already in State ownership.
Chairman of Galway IFA Pat Murphy said farmers were undergoing a consultation process with officials but were still worried their concerns would not be listened to. He said the IFA had secured a promise from Transport Minister Paschal Donohoe that compulsory purchase orders would not be used.
"We believe the N6 makes a viable alternative and we would like the NRA [National Roads Authority] to review its decision. If they moved this route to the N6, it would cause no hindrance to farmers and would cost a lot less to complete as the State already owns much of it.
"The current plans would go through the middle of farms, splitting them in half. We can't stand by and let that happen."
The call for a review of the route was echoed by local councillor Michael Maher. Mr Maher said up to 90pc of affected farmers in the Loughrea area had signed petitions.