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Marine Park looks dead in the water

Plans to develop a marine park in Conamara were dealt a major blow this week after An Bórd Pleanála refused to grant planning permission for the development.

Galway County Council had already rejected proposals by Údarás na Gaeltachta to develop Páirc na Mara on lands east of Cill Chiaráin village.

The regional authority responsible for economic, social and cultural development of the Gaeltacht, appealed the decision to the planning appeals board but it too has refused to grant permission.

This latest decision blows a big hole in Údarás na Gaeltachta’s job creation plans for Conamara – its five-year employment strategy launched last year hinged on jobs growth from Páirc na Mara.

Reacting, in a statement to the Connacht Tribune, Údarás na Gaeltachta said it was awaiting ABP’s Inspector’s Report.

“This will help to inform how we proceed in the coming weeks. We remain committed to the Páirc na Mara project and to sustainable development and job creation in the Iorras Aithneach Gaeltacht area,” it added.

In a letter from ABP member, Chris McGarry, the Board gave two reasons for refusing the plan.

They related to the lack of information about the potential impacts of climate change; and the potential impact on water levels and the water supply in nearby water sources.

The proposal involved phase one of the continued development of a marine innovation park on a brownfield site of nine hectares, to include a number of marine-based industrial facilities and educational and applied research sites at Cill Chiaráin.

Get the full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now, or you can download the digital edition from You can also download our Connacht Tribune App from Apple’s App Store or get the Android Version from Google Play.

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