Press Release 7th April 2021 – East Mayo Greenway Campaign

  • Extraordinary and unprecedented level of public submissions to Mayo County Development Plan 2021/27
  • Overwhelming public support in County Mayo for greenway on over 40 years closed railway from Charlestown to Claremorris
  • Department of Transport renames route as “Transport Corridor”
  • Irish Rail submission clears way for greenway on the section north of Claremorris”
  • “Only Mayo County council now stands in the way of a greenway,” says East Mayo Greenway Chairperson David Malee

draft Mayo county plan cover

The Draft Mayo County Development Plan 2021 – 2027 closed for submissions on March 16th, but not before it attracted what has been described as an unprecedented level of submissions seeking the provision of a greenway on the Western Transport Corridor through the east of the county. Of the 1265 submissions on the plan, 1,000 sought the development of a greenway on the route, in order to protect this publicly-owned asset for future rail use, and to provide tourism jobs and local amenity now. Almost 80% of all submissions on the county plan asked for a greenway on the route. The Department of Transport have redefined the closed railway as a “Transport Corridor” not just a railway.

Irish Rail and Department of Transport declare support for Greenway.

abandoned railway

Closed Railway

Among the 1,000 submissions were two of particular note. Irish Rail, the owners of the closed route, told Mayo County Council they will support a greenway on the Transport Corridor with full support for the “section north of Claremorris” It is their view that a greenway will protect the route from loss to state ownership until such future time as a railway might be possible. You can read the Irish Rail submission to the Mayo county plan here.

Campaigners say that the support of Irish Rail is a significant milestone in their attempts to persuade Mayo County Council to apply for the available funding for the project.

The other important submission to the County Development Plan came from the Department of Transport, (DOT). The Department asked Mayo County Council to consider the use of the closed railway as a greenway until such future time as a railway might be possible.  The Department have also re-defined the closed railway route as a “Transport Corridor” not just a railway, that could be used as a greenway until such time as a railway might be possible. You can read the Dept of Transport supporting the East Mayo Greenway submission to the Mayo county plan here.

Artist view Swinford to Charlestown greenway

Artist view Swinford to Charlestown greenway

East Mayo Greenway Group spokesman Michael Maye said these two submissions were game changers. “Given that Irish Rail owns the asset, and DOT controls greenway funding,” he said, “and that they also frame national rail policy, their submissions to Mayo County Council now make this project a no-brainer.” Michael Maye continued: “The redefinition of the route by the Department as a ”Transport Corridor” rather than solely as a railway line changes the agenda”

He went on to say that only Mayo County council now stands in the way of a greenway between Claremorris and Charlestown. He said the owners of the Transport Corridor and the funding body both support the project, and Mayo County Council just have to apply for the money. Everyone with any interest in this project needs to read those two submissions to realise the greenway is now the only realistic option for the foreseeable future.

David Malee, Chairman of East Mayo Greenway Group said that “all councillors and TDs in Mayo now need to get behind this project, to give the population of east Mayo and the wider region what they want. He added “the council needs to apply for and draw down central funding that is clearly available, while it is still available.  What is stopping them?” he asked.