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Frustration as airport site remains idle a decade on


From this week's Galway City Tribune

From this week's Galway City Tribune

Frustration as airport site remains idle a decade on Frustration as airport site remains idle a decade on

The new chairman of Galway County Council has voiced his frustration that the 115-acre old Galway Airport in Carnmore – purchased ten years ago ‘for a song’ – still remains idle without a plan for the future.

There were hopes at one stage that the extensive site, which is jointly owned by Galway’s two local authorities, would be developed for industrial and manufacturing purposes.

The newly elected Cathaoirleach of Galway County Council, Cllr Liam Carroll, told the AGM of the Council that a masterplan was to be put in place for the airport site, but it still had not happened and was nowhere near happening.

“It was a joint purchase of the lands by the city and county councils for €1.5 million which was for a song,” he said.

“But the fact that nothing has happened with it in the meantime is very frustrating,” he added.

Cllr Jim Cuddy (Ind) agreed that it was “a great buy at the time” but only if something meaningful had been done with it in the meantime.

However, he insisted that, when there would eventually be a masterplan for the site, the retention of an airstrip should be an integral part of this.

“If only to land helicopters or light aircraft, we need an airstrip as we would be the only major city without one,” he added.

The site ceased functioning as a commercial airport back in 2013 and since then there have been accusations of both local authorities ‘dragging their heels’ on the formulation of a long-term plan for the extensive site.

When the future of the site came up for discussion at last year’s Galway County Development Plan 2022-2028, the Council executive were not in favour of zoning the lands for any particular purposes.

Submissions had been received to the County Development Plan asking that it be zoned for commercial and industrial, for community purposes and even for residential. But the site remains unzoned.


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