Sligo Council Moves on Greenway

Will be “On or Beside” old railway line

Sligo Champion 15th July 2014

Sligo county council has given its support for a Greenway “on or adjacent to” the closed railway line from Collooney to Bellaghy. Campaigners for the Greenway have welcomed the move.

Brendan Quinn said: “This now effectively means the council support a Greenway for the route until such time as a railway is possible.” He added the next step was to press for funding for a feasibility study.

At the July meeting of the council, Cllr Dara Mulvey proposed writing to Transport minister Alan Kelly seeking funding for a feasibility study.

abandoned railwayMuch of the debate centred on whether the Greenway should be “on”, “alongside”, or “adjacent” to the old railway line. Some councillors feared that if the Greenway was “on” the line, the rail route would never be reopened. Cllr Jerry Lundy said Cllr Matt Brennan and the late Cllr Joe Cawley, both from Tubbercurry, were of the view that if the track was lifted, it would never be got back. He had no problem with Greenway’s.

But it worried him if funding was given for a Greenway on the railway, it would cross the busy N17. Cllr Mulvey spoke of the amount of business that could come from a Greenway. “If the potential is there to open up coffee shops, B&B’s, Pubs… that’s why I looked for funding for a feasibility study.”

Council CEO Ciaran Hayes said a properly conducted feasibility study would give information as to the feasibility of “along” or “on” the track.

He added, “if you have a Greenway on the track with established businesses, it would be difficult to say we are putting a railway back there. My advice would be to conduct a feasibility study and that would take into account all the concerns around the table.”

Cllr Declan Bree said a motion about a Greenway “on” the track would contravene the county development plan. In the end, the compromise wording “on” or “adjacent to” was agreed to.

Sligo champion 15th July 2014