The Galway-Barna Greenway Should Be Part of the National Plan of Greenways According to City Councillor

Galway Urban Greenway Alliance are hosting the ‘Galway-Barna Greenway Fundraiser’, on Friday 29 March at the Galway Rowing Club.

Galway City West councillor Cathal Ó Conchúir spoke to Galway Pulse about the need for the Greenway and how it would benefit the local community in Barna and in Galway City itself.

“We could have our Coke Zero bikes all the way out as Barna with the help of the County (Council), so that people would be able to cycle from Barna into the city. People wouldn’t get stuck in traffic and it would take cars off the road. It would reduce our carbon footprint, and would help with general health and mindfulness for the people who would avail of it. So it would be a win-win for everybody.”

The main argument for greenways is the fact it could bring business into the local era. Ó Conchúir cites two different greenways which benefitted the communities they were put into.

“I always give great credit to Fine Gael’s Michael Ring, who put money into the greenway from Westport to Achill Island. 350,000 people travelled that greenway last year. It has generated business for bicycle shops, hotels, B&Bs, cafés, pubs and restaurants in the communities along the route.”

“There is another brilliant greenway from Rathkeale to Abbeyfeale in West Limerick and people are actually going there now. It was never a big tourist area, but now all of a sudden, there are tourists who are going there, especially, just to walk, to jog and to cycle the greenway,” Ó Conchúir told Galway Pulse.

Ó Conchúir is hopeful that if the planners can sit down with local landowners and tell them the benefits about having the greenway, that it would help everyone. He told Galway Pulse that he fears that local farmers could disagrees with the greenway because people would be leaving gates open, and letting their sheep and cattle out.

“The same thing was being argued in both the Westport to Achill Greenway and the Rathkeale to Abbeyfeale Greenway but the local councillors met with the farmers and told them the benefits, and now those farmers are starting to reap those rewards. Numerous farmers are actually making money by using a room in there house as B&B.”

Tiernan McCusker, a member of the Galway Urban Greenway Alliance spoke to Galway Pulse about the reasoning for the fundraiser:

“We are hosting the event is to raise funds so we can campaign for the greenway, and also to raise awareness.”

McCusker believes that funds raised can help bring a motion to Galway City Council and that it could go forward to a national level. He told Galway Pulse that plans were originally on the table in 2016 but it fell through.

“We want to get it back on the table, so it can become part of the Galway Transportation Strategy. In which case then whenever Galway City Council start pushing towards parties and they would be able to get public consultation on it and hopefully they could submit it to the National Transport Authority.”

The fundraiser is due to start at 21:00, and entertainment will be provided by The Timber Tramps, Mitch Presents, and DJ Will Softly.

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