Cannon rules out CPOs for future Greenway routes

Minister Ciaran Cannon
Minister Ciaran Cannon

UNDER no circumstances will a farmer in East Galway be slapped with a compulsory order for the acquisition of their land for the provision of a walking and cycling greenway.

This was the commitment given by a Government Minister of State who has informed Galway landowners that they will never be subjected to a CPO.

And it has been learned by the Farming Tribune that all land owners between Athlone and Galway will be called to a meeting to inform them a preferred route for a greenway between the two locations that will not divide lands or farms.

Instead, it will utilise State owned lands like Coillte forestry and even property adjacent to the existing Galway to Dublin railway line in order to provide a greenway.

Farmers from East Galway attended a meeting in Athenry at which plans were outlined for a greenway along the old disused railway track to Ballyglunin, Tuam and on towards Milltown and Claremorris.

The farmers in attendance welcomed the fact that a greenway could be provided on State owned lands without any threat of a compulsory purchase order.

Minister Ciaran Cannon assured farmers that there would never be a threat of CPOs again in their lifetime.

“In the past, they went the wrong way about it. Cutting through people’s holdings as the quickest direct route for a greenway was not the way to go. It was scandalous.

“Under the greenways directive, there are alternatives along State-owned lands throughout East Galway including bogs and Coillte forestry that can be utilised.

“And we also have been informed that stretches of the railway track between Galway and Dublin have sufficient width that they can provide greenway cycle lanes,” Minister Cannon added.

Farmers from East Galway, in the Woodlawn area in particular, attended a meeting in Athenry at which they supported the concept of a greenway between Athenry and Tuam and beyond along the railway line.

They were vehemently opposed to CPOs and expressed the view that no lands should be subjected to compulsory purchase without consent and consultation.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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