N59 Action Group to consider stepping up campaign

Members of the N59 Action Campaign Connemara are considering their next move following a meeting of the group, which is campaigning for the redevelopment of the main road through Connemara.

Group members met in Clifden on Monday to discuss the campaign, which is currently focused on a petition calling for an upgrade of the road from Oughterard to Clifden.

The group was formed in July and to date it has collected an estimated 5,000 signatures for a multi-platform petition calling for an end to the impasse over the realignment of the road, which forms the main transport artery through Connemara and on to Ballina in Co Mayo. An online petition, set up in tandem with a local petition, has received some 1,100 signatures along with messages of support from as far afield as Dubai and California.

Plans to realign the road from Oughterard to Clifden have hit a number of obstacles, with work on parts of the road rejected on environmental grounds. Much of the road passes through special areas of conservation, habitats which are protected under EU law.

Seosamh Ó Cuaig of the N59 Action Campaign said the group would continue to gather signatures calling for a solution to the current impasse over the road, and it was also considering a number of options for future action.

"There's a lot of anger boiling up over this," he said. "Meanwhile up in Mayo they're doing great work on the N59. It all boils down to one thing — we're not allowed to have a proper road in and out of Connemara. It's as simple as that. We are only asking for a narrow corridor for a proper road, out of thousands and thousands of hectares."

The action group plans to meet again later this month to consider the next steps in the campaign.

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