East Mayo Greenway Group calls on Mayo residents to make submissions on Mayo county plan before closing date of March 16th 2021.

·        Easy to use submissions postcards are available from group members please contact group on facebook page

·        Submissions asking for greenway on closed railway from Charlestown to Claremorris are needed

·        Charlestown to Claremorris Railway closed over 40 years ago is not under consideration for re-opening

·        Sligo county council committed to greenway from Collooney to Bellaghy/Charlestown Mayo county border

·        Huge support for greenway that would connect Charlestown, Swinford, Kiltimagh and Claremorris

David Malee a resident of Swinford and recently appointed  Chairman of East Mayo greenway group has issued a statement asking people in the East Mayou area to act now to meet the deadline to make a submission on the new Mayo County plan in support of the East Mayo Greenway project.

The East Mayo greenway  supports placing a greenway on the closed railway from Claremorris to Charlestown until such time as a railway might be possible.

David said to local media sources  “We have made it easy for people to make postal submissions by creating a standard submission on a postcard, which emphasises the key points of our campaign.  People can add personal views on the back of the card, add their name and address and just send it off to Mayo county council.  Many people have already used this method to make a submission.  If people want to make a submission using these cards we can be contacted on our Facebook page East Mayo Greenway Group.” https://www.facebook.com/groups/eastmayogreenwaygroup

Cards are also available from these locations: Swinford post office; Bee Goldens Health Shop Swinford; Corrib Oil Swinford; Kiltimagh Post Office; Charlestown Service Station, Knock Rd; Vets Practice Charlestown; Charlestown Post office; Ballaghdereen Post Office.

Michael Maye from Swinford, PRO for the group said.  “We are really trying to impress on the county council the difference between the closed railway line north and south of Claremorris, the route south of Claremorris which runs down to Tuam and Athenry in county galway is the only part of the closed railway that is being considered as a potential railway line, even though two recent government reports said this was highly unlikely to happen.  North of Claremorris through to Charlestown is not under consideration to be re-opened and would make an ideal greenway route. It is this part of the closed railway which we are focussed on protecting with a greenway until such time as a railway might be possible, it is very important that both councillors and members of the public understand this difference”

Artist view of Swinford railway station with greenway

David Mallee added “Sligo county council has the full support of the Department of Transport and Minister Ryan to develop a greenway from Collooney, near  Sligo town,  to the Mayo county border at Bellaghy/Charlestown, we will be faced with the very real situation in a few years time that  the Sligo Greenway on the closed railway will terminate in Charlestown and not go any further into Mayo.  We want to see Mayo county council to work in co-operation with  Sligo County Council to make sure the Sligo greenway continues on into Mayo, at least as far as Swinford in the first phase.  If Mayo county councillors don’t act now to amend the draft county plan and accept that a greenway on the closed railway is the best way to protect the route until such time as a railway is possible, we will have lost an opportunity of a lifetime. It really would be unforgiveable to allow this opportunity to pass for another seven years”

“Jim Meade CEO of Irish Rail recently stated that having a greenway on a closed railway is a WIN/WIN solution as it utilizes any route until such time as it might be required for a railway and we know from meetings with the Department of Transport that they would fully support this idea”

David continued “Mayo county council have approved a Velorail project for the closed railway 6km north and south of Kiltimagh,  there has been a huge expression of public opinion asking for a greenway to run alongside the velorail project;   We want to work with Irish Rail and Mayo County Council to develop a greenway alongside the Velorail route so the people in the Kiltimagh area can also enjoy free to use access to this important publically owned route for leisure purposes until such time as a railway might open” David added “The closed railway used to cross the N5 just outside Swinford.  The Velorail license to use the closed railway stops short of the N5 and it is simply not on the agenda for the Velorail to cross the N5.  This means the closed railway  north of the N5 needs to be protected, the only option that is viable for the line north of the N5 that would be acceptable to the residents of both  Swinford and Charlestown is for a greenway on the route and to place a parallel greenway on the Velorail section running into Kiltimagh. The issue of the greenway crossing the N5 is an engineering issue that is not insurmountable. To achieve this objective we need as many people in the area as possible to ask Mayo County council in submissions on the county plan this is what they want to see happen”.

In the last two weeks of submissions we are asking people act now and put a submission in to the County council using our easy to use postcard submission.