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Achill Tourism manager threatens to resign

News

CONSIDERING HIS POSITION Seán Molloy, Achill Tourism.

Anton McNulty

The Manager of Achill Tourism is considering whether to step down from his position due to what would appear to be a breakdown in his working relationship with some Mayo County Council officials.
The Mayo News has learned that Seán Molloy, the manager of Achill Tourism, is to meet with the board of Achill Tourism this week to discuss his future after offering his resignation in recent days. It is understood that the decision by Mr Molloy to offer his resignation came after a matter arose last week when he responded to a Mayo News  question regarding the extension of the Great Western Greenway into Polranny.
The extension had not been officially announced by Mayo County Council but the news that the final required landowner had given consent to go through their lands was widely known in Achill, and preliminary clearance work on the project started last week.
However, The Mayo News has learnt that funding for the project is not yet in place and as such no official announcement on the project was made by the local authority. A spokesperson stated that the council is looking for funding to begin the extension, which is several hundred meters in length and, once completed, will see Greenway users no longer using the main road coming into Achill.
Mr Molloy was contacted by The Mayo News in his capacity as manager of Achill Tourism for a comment last week, and he welcomed the extension.
When contacted by The Mayo News yesterday (Monday), Mr Molloy refused to comment on the resignation matter but in a post on his Facebook page last week he said that ‘some people have tried to stop me speaking to the media about issues that are important to Achill when it doesn’t suit them’.
The public reaction to his post was mostly positive with many praising his role in promoting Achill Tourism. In a follow-up post on the social media network, Mr Molloy thanked people for the ‘huge support’ he  received.
“I would like to clarify that the issues I am having has not originated in Achill. I have always had massive support from Achill people everywhere. The problem lies with a public body. My crime was to highlight health and safety issues on the Greenway last summer and reply to a question that I was asked by a journalist about the extension to the Greenway. Apparently you cannot talk or mention anything before politicians get to announce it even though it was public knowledge for three weeks,” he wrote.
At present, the Greenway ends approximately 1.5km short of the entrance to the island forcing users to join the main R319 road to complete their journey onto the island. This part of the road is governed by a 80km per hour speed limit, prompting major safety concerns for cyclists and pedestrians leaving the Greenway.
The extension into the village of Polranny follows an agreement between the Council and a landowner to access land. The Greenway will now end and join the main road in a section governed by a 50km per hour zone.
Mr Molloy, a native of Achill, has been manager of Achill Tourism since 2015 and has played a proactive role in promoting tourism on Achill. The island received global attention recently when media outlets from all over the world reported on the reappearance of the beach at Dooagh after over 30 years.
Mayo County Council is also very active in promoting Achill through its tourism office and Mayo.ie. The island currently features in a stunning advert which is currently playing on national television and has been viewed over 220,000 times online, between YouTube and Facebook.

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