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Deputy Michael McNamara: ““Farmers with low-input permanent pasture cannot cut hay and silage if they are in GLAS. The Minister is trying to incentivise them to do so but they cannot."

Clare landowners reassured over Greenway consultation

LANDOWNERS along the route of the proposed Greenway from Scariff/Tuamgraney to Limerick are being given an assurance that the development will follow best practice guidelines on consultation.

Following a briefing for Oireachtas members last Tuesday, Deputy Michael McNamara said that a code of practice, which has been drawn up in conjunction with several stakeholders, including farming representative bodies, will be followed.

“Waterways Ireland have stated that they will be using the code for the development of greenways,” he said.

“That provides a reassurance that landowner concerns will be given due consideration at every stage in this development. The Scariff to Limerick Greenway is a very exciting project. I’m delighted that it is now progressing and that community consultation is currently underway. I pushed, in particular for the development of the Errina Canal element during my previous term as a TD.”

The Scariff man also expressed hopes that potential issues in the area of Parteen Weir could be addressed, through negotiation with the ESB, who are stakeholders in the greenway project.

“I was somewhat disappointed to hear that there may be some issues on the Clonlara – O’Brienbridge – Parteen Weir section of the route,” he said.

“I hope the ESB will be able to reach a compromise between its duty to generate electricity and maintain the dam and to enable public access. The ESB will need to be able to safeguard Parteen Weir, which is a fantastic facility. At the same time, issues like occupier liability and public liability can be very onerous in the country. I hope that these issues can be resolved.”

A Code of Best Practice for National and Regional Greenways was published in December. It outlines provision for route selection, consultation, the acquisition of lands, maintenance, land payments and other issues.

It has been adopted by Fáilte Ireland, the IFA, the ICMSA, Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII), The Department of Transport, The Department of Rural and Community Development, and a number of local authorities.

A Greenway Sustainability schedule was also published last December. The document outlines payment bands for landowners, depending on how much of their property is affected. It has been signed by the heads of the IFA, the ICMSA, the ICSA, TII and Eamon Ryan, the Minister for Transport.

Consultation began this week on the proposed 41km Greenway, with the first session taking place last Tuesday at the offices of Waterways Ireland in Scariff. Further consultation sessions take place next Wednesday, May 4, at Clonlara Community Centre.

The following evening, a session takes place at The Kilmurry Lodge Hotel in Castletroy. All sessions will run from 5 to 8pm.

The Greenway project, led by Waterways Ireland in conjunction with the ESB and Clare and Limerick County Councils, will result in a greenway stretching from Scariff to Killaloe, along the Errina Canal, crossing the River Shannon at the Black Bridge near the University of Limerick (UL) and on to Limerick City.

About Fiona McGarry

Fiona McGarry joined The Clare Champion as a reporter after a four-year stint as producer of Morning Focus on Clare FM. Prior to that she worked for various radio, print and online titles, including Newstalk, Maximum Media and The Tuam Herald. Fiona’s media career began in her native Mayo when she joined Midwest Radio. She is the maker of a number of radio documentaries, funded by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI). She has also availed of the Simon Cumbers Media Fund to report on development issues supported by Irish Aid in Haiti. She won a Justice Media Award for a short radio series on the work of Bedford Row Project, which supports prisoners and families in the Mid-West. Fiona also teaches on the Journalism programmes at NUI Galway. If you have a story and would like to get in touch with Fiona you can email her at or telephone 065 6864146.

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