Greenway agronomist gets ‘green light’

It is understood that an agreement has been reached to appoint an agronomist to all future greenway projects. It is also suggested that future greenways will be developed on state lands primarily.

A delegation from the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) met with the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Shane Ross, yesterday evening (Wednesday, June 27) to relay landowners concerns over the development of greenways in south Kerry and Galway.

The IFA delegation made a case for the immediate appointment of an agronomist to this project and for the threat of compulsory purchase orders (CPOs) to be dropped.

At the meeting, IFA president Joe Healy called for the publication of the long-awaited strategy document which sets out the framework for the delivery of recreational routes such as greenways.

Commenting on the matter, Healy said: “Farmers and their families are the most important stakeholders in any rural infrastructure development, as projects such as greenways will have an ongoing impact on their livelihoods and farm businesses.”

He called for the strategy document for greenways to clearly set out a robust and professional consultation process and for funding from the department to be withheld until adequate consultation takes place.

Farmers along the western seaboard and right across the country deserve to be treated better when it comes to the development of recreational routes.

“Such routes have an important role to play in the re-energising of rural areas. However, they must be built in consultation with farm families and local communities,” he said.

The IFA has said that it remains hopeful that Minister Ross will deliver on this agreement.