Sunday 18 February 2018

Letters to the editor

The ‘Keep Ireland Open’ organisation has warmly welcomed the initiative to establish a right of way at Barnarabin to gain safe access to Benbulben
The ‘Keep Ireland Open’ organisation has warmly welcomed the initiative to establish a right of way at Barnarabin to gain safe access to Benbulben

Dear Madam,

With regard to considering reopening the Collooney to Claremorris railway line, or using it as a greenway, the following points should be borne in mind.

Reopening the railway would be very expensive and very likely to be very under-utilised.

The Galway-Limerick line underlines this point and is also now competing with an excellent motorway.

Railways, because of their very high capital costs, in general are best suited to routes between centres of large population and Galway and Sligo would be small in this regard.

The cost factor is especially relevant with the country's economy in such poor shape.

Some faster bus services would be more appropriate, either non-stop or with few stops on the main road.

On the other hand, a cycle and pedestrian route would add to the growing network of such routes throughout the country and would have a far better cost/benefit scenario.

The scenery along such a route would be very pleasant, like the inland waterway system, even if not as dramatic as the whole west coast in general.

A greenway would add to improving the nation's amenities, especially on the edge of the north west, the country's poor relation for tourism.

Local people, local businesses and tourism would benefit, thereby assisting local economies and helping to reduce emigration, not to mention the added health benefits.

The Newport-Mulranny cycleway has been a huge success.

Such a new route would also complement routes like the Sligo Way and next year's Wild Atlantic Way.

In addition, if circumstances were to change a future railway would not be ruled out as the route would be secured.


Charles Henry,


Co Sligo.


Dear Madam,

My grandmother Harriette Elizabeth Shaw was the first daughter of Henry Nesbit and Margaret Emily (nee Jackson) Shaw.

Harriette was born 27th July 1881 at Clooneen, Emlaghfad Ballymote, County Sligo where her parents had a farm.

Her father Henry Nesbit was also a Magistrate/JP for the area 1902-25.

Harriette married a Charles Joseph Savage in Dublin on 23rd March 1910 and they later had two children, my father being one.

Harriette died in 1933 before I was born, my father never mentioned his mother and I grew up not knowing anything about her nor what she looked like.

I was able to find a photograph of my grandfather which my mother had secreted in a box.

Both my parents are now dead and I have never been able to find a photograph of Harriette.

Apart from my own daughter I am the last person in our family line and I would sincerely love my daughter to see a picture of her great grandmother.

I know this may be a complete long shot but I have tried everything else.

I'm writing this letter in the vaguest hope that someone out there may have a photograph of my late grandmother Harriette Elizabeth Savage nee Shaw of Clooneen, Emlaghfad, Ballymote.

Thank you for any assistance you may be able to afford me.


Chas McKaig Savage

4 Dellmount Crescent


County Down

BT20 4UF



Dear Madam,

I'm a Sligo-based author and broadcaster who is trying to track down descendents of West of Ireland sailors who volunteered to join the Royal Navy during the Great War only to find themselves fighting with the British Army in the trenches of France and Belgium.

When they got to England they discovered the Navy didn't have enough ships and they were press ganged into unit called 'The Royal Naval Division' and sent off to the War.

Hundreds of them died and are buried in war graves many miles from the sea.

I'm travelling to Ypres in Belgium next month to research a radio documentary on The Irish in the Great War and would appreciate any help from Sligo Champion readers.

It's a story which hasn't really been told.

It will be fascinating to find out what happened to those unsung heroes of the Irish Merchant Marine.

I can be contacted on 086 8335374 or by email at


Kieran Devaney

Rosses Point



Dear Madam,

Thanks for a very informative and helpful article. Can I make one small point for future issue, regarding the restored schoolhouse at Annaghmore ?

I went out expecting to see a restored school, as it was say 150 years ago.

Not so.

It has been restored by the Irish Landmark Trust for rental as a modern Self catering holiday home.

It is very well done but nothing resembling the old school inside.


Seán Bree


Dear Madam,

Keep Ireland Open, the only national organisation, actively lobbying for better access to our countryside, warmly welcomes the initiative in seeking to establish a public right of way at Barnarabin to gain safe access to Benbulben – one of Ireland's most dangerous mountains.

We are pleased that there have been 50 public spirited people who have completed questionnaires available from Sligo County Council.

We would appeal to other members of the public to respond as the Council will need as much as possible evidence of usage.

Roger Garland,


Keep Ireland Open,

Ph 01- 4934239

Sligo Champion

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