An Taoiseach Enda Kenny has welcomed confirmation that an application for Raheens Wood outside Castlebar was successful in being selected under the NeighbourWood Scheme. The recently re-opened NeighbourWood Scheme is a forestry-support initiative to assist communities to create their own 'close-to-home' woodland amenities. The Minister of State for Food Safety, Forestry and Horticulture, Shane McEntee, recently visited the woodland area to view the site with the Taoiseach following the recent opening of new Coillte offices in Castlebar.
Taoiseach Kenny said: “I recently learned of the success of Raheens Wood following its application to the NeighbourWood Scheme, and I wish to thank Minister McEntee for visiting the site to witness its enormous potential. This is a woodland that dates back to the 1840s and it offers substantial growth potential to be developed as a tourist and recreational attraction.”
Local Sinn Féin councillor Thérèse Ruane, who first proposed this project in October 2010, has also welcomed the announcement. Raheens Woods will now be developed as a public amenity and this, in conjunction with recent developments at Lough Lannagh, and the proposed Greenway linking Castlebar and Turlough to the Great Western Greenway, will change the face of Castlebar as a tourist destination while providing badly needed public recreational amenities for the people of the town.