Declan Meehan, local independent candidate for the upcoming council election has outlined one of the projects he intends to focus on if he is elected on May 24th.
“We live in one of the most beautiful areas of the country, and yet only about 12% of visitors to our country travel north of the Dublin-Galway line. We need to be ambitious and offer them something new to experience this beautiful part of the world. Tourism products are changing, and we need to adapt and provide alternative reasons for people to come to this area. We know it’s beautiful, but we need to sell that better," he said.
He has now outlined his vision for a cycle and walking greenway from Letterkenny to Rathmullan, through Ramelton.
“This would link Letterkenny, the gateway town of the north-west, to its nearest beach in Rathmullan, while taking people through the beautiful heritage town of Ramelton. It not only provides an additional tourism product, but also allows locals to cycle safely between the towns for work or leisure,” Meehan said.
“We recently saw the new stretch of the N56 road in Kilmacrennan incorporate a cycle path which will eventually mean locals and tourists will be able to cycle from Letterkenny to Kilmacrennan and eventually onwards to Glenveagh. This needs to not be a once off, but needs to be part of a bigger policy change and plan to promote tourism within our county,” he added.
He continued: "The maths and economics here speak for themselves. The Great Western Greenway in County Mayo runs for 42km from Westport to Achill, mainly off road. A report by Fáilte Ireland has shown that it attracts about 23,000 visitors and 34,000 local users a year, bringing a staggering €7.2 million per year to the local economy. It cost approximately €5.7 million to build and has quickly paid for itself in economic returns to the local area. At the time it was an ambitious project, but with local backing and political championing they realised this amazing project."
“There is little reason why we cannot work together and build a greenway which connects our beautiful towns and villages and draws people to enjoy and spend money in our locality. There are only advantages for our area, for local people and also for the tourists we rely on to boost our local economy. It is large, ambitious projects like this that we need for our area if we are to turn the tide in rural Donegal.
"If the people of the Milford Electoral area vote for me next month, they will be voting for new, ambitious projects like this," he declared.
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