Wednesday 28 September 2016

Greenway poses security threat claim farmers

Published 23/09/2015 | 02:30

The Great Western Greenway
The Great Western Greenway

Farmers fear the 'Greenway' cycle route will raise security issues as it weaves through productive farmland.

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More than 100 farmers attended a meeting in Loughrea, Co Galway amid concerns over the potential path of the new Dublin to Galway route which is being touted as a tourism boon.

Adrian Kelly, a sheep farmer from Mullagh in Galway, called on Transport Minister Paschal Donohoe to meet with them again to hear their concerns. "There are serious issues over farm security as it bypasses neighbourhood watch," he said. "If you've routes in the back of nowhere there are biosecurity issues and issues around the security of our stock."

He said another issue that worried farmers was possible insurance hikes over the level of public access.

ICSA president Patrick Kent said they would be raising the issue and the route should not be pushed through against the wishes of land owners.

Mr Kelly, a spokesman for the Galway Greenway Action Group, said they were in support of the cycle route and had suggested alternatives such as routing it along the old Dublin to Galway route. Gerry O'Sullivan of Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) said farmers had raised legitimate concerns which would be evaluated and listened to. However, he said they had deliberately chosen a "cross country" green route to particularly appeal to European tourists.

described it as a "slow dialogue" processhas previously insisted it must proceed along a greenfield site that would appeal to tourists.

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