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Greenway re-opened near Achill

Greenway re-opened near Achill

Dispute between local landowners and Mayo County Council resolved

Anton McNulty

The section of the Great Western Greenway near Achill which was closed to the public since last Monday has been re-opened after a dispute between landowners and Mayo County Council was resolved today (Friday).
The section of the route leading into Achill at Owenduff - around 4km from Mulranny - was reopened on Friday morning after engineers from Mayo County Council gave a commitment to landowners that their concerns will be addressed following a week of negotiations.
Landowners living along a section of the Greenway decided to block public access to the walk and cycleway after what they say was the council’s failure to install adequate fencing and warning signs since the Greenway opened last summer.
During the week, the concerned landowners met with officials of Mayo County Council and decided to re-open public access through their lands after they were given commitments their concerns will be promptly addressed.
“We are delighted the Greenway is open again and we hope it never comes to this situation again,” said John Corrigan, a spokesperson for the concerned landowners. “The Greenway was re-opened this morning [Friday] after the Council gave a commitment that work which needs to be completed will start on Monday morning. The farmers involved are happy the problems which were highlighted to the Council will be resolved and look forward to people using the Greenway again.”
There were also concerns raised regarding lighting and signage close to the Greenway along the public road and the Council have said these will also be looked at.
The landowners involved were annoyed that adequate fencing had not been put up by the Council since it was opened which resulted in sheep getting into people’s garden’s. They said they had informed the Council of their concerns on a number of occasions but grew frustrated at the lack of activity on the matter prompting last Monday’s closure.
The Greenway was officially opened last year by An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny and runs for 42km from Westport to Achill. Since it opened it is estimated that it has attracted over 145,000 visitors and generated €7.2 million to the local economy.