Greenway does not threaten future rail services, says Cannon

East Galway Minister Ciaran Cannon has received confirmation from CIE that the licence for the development of a greenway on CIE lands can be revoked at any time if the Board has alternative plans for the lands.

The Minister has said that Galway’s county councillors need to bear this fact in mind ahead of the forthcoming vote on a feasibility study for the Quiet Man Greenway.

Minister Cannon said that if any County Council in the country was given the option to vote ‘Yes’ to bring industry to its region, its members would do so in an almost unanimous manner.

“That has already happened with local authorities across Ireland and that is why it is important that all members of Galway County Council be fully acquainted with all the facts associated with the proposed Quiet Man Greenway ahead of their vote on Monday September 24.

“Members of the County Council supporting the extension of the rail corridor, in particular, should note confirmation I have received from Córas Iompair Éireann (CIÉ ), which is Ireland’s national public transport provider and manages our national rail network on behalf of our citizens.”

“Yesterday (September 11 ) Niall Grogan, CIE’s National Estate Manager, confirmed the following to me in an email:

“The Board of CIE, when entering into a licencing agreement with a local authority for the development of a greenway on CIE lands, always includes a clause requiring that the licence can be revoked at any time if the Board has alternative plans for the lands.”

“Such a clause has already been used in the licences issued for the Waterford and Westmeath greenways and there is no reason why that would not happen in the instance of the proposed Quiet Man Greenway.”

“Thus, if it ever transpires that our local rail line is needed for new rail services, CIE has the power to immediately revoke a licence for a greenway.

Minister Cannon asaid that the Quiet Man Greenway would bring industry to East Galway. It would make Athenry and Tuam hugely attractive towns to live and work in, thus making them ripe for investment.

“The alternative proposed by others is that a freight train would pass through them each day in its way from Mayo to Limerick. Is that the pinnacle of our ambition for our local towns?’

“The Quiet Man Greenway would also turn Athenry, Ballyglunin, Milltown and Tuam into a unique and dynamic showcase for the very best that East Galway has to offer in terms of food, tourism and hospitality’.

“For that reason, and the better health of future generations in East Galway, the feasibility study on September 24 needs a thumbs-up from all councillors,” he said.

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