Councillors rule out CPOs for Greenways
Councillors in Galway and Kerry have ruled out the use of Compulsory Purchase Orders (CPO) to acquire the land needed for greenway cycle paths in their respective counties.
The threat of CPOs is causing consternation among farmers in both counties because of the potential disruption to farming enterprises on affected holdings.
The IFA accept that greenway cycle paths could be a boon for the rural economy but the organisation is implacably opposed to the compulsory purchase of farming ground for these tourist related projects.
The Dublin- Galway greenway is all but built as far as Athlone through the acquisition of land owned by Iarnrod Eireann and Waterways Ireland but requires access from 250 landowners and farmers in Galway to complete the route.
Both the IFA and Galway Co Council have agreed to hold talks on the issue which will be chaired by the local authority's chairperson, Cllr Mary Forde. Meanwhile, councillors on both Galway and Roscommon councils have decided to rule out compulsory purchase orders.
IFA Connacht Regional chairman Tom Turley told the Farming Independent that these projects would not happen if the CPO threat remained, while Galway IFA chairman, Pat Murphy, said farmer interests had to be protected.
"Greenway projects have a role to play in the development of the rural economy but there is a clear need for the authorities to start again and engage meaningfully with farmers," he said.
Roscommon IFA chairman John Hanley called for the full use of other land resources owned by Coillte and Bord Na Mona and the old N6 road for the Galway greenway project.