Wednesday, 19 December 2018
Promoting Cycling: Motion [Private Members]
I also thank Deputy Troy for bringing forward this motion. I was delighted to hear the Minister of State's response because I was wilting during the response from the Minister. He just went on and on, whereas the Minister of State had passion. He clearly gets the issue, and understands what we in rural Ireland are seeking to do in the context of greenways. As a rural Deputy from Galway, I can only wonder. We have the Dublin to Galway greenway, which comes to an end in Athlone. There is nothing coming along the Shannon, although we are trying. There is nothing along the Quiet Man Greenway. I am sure that the Minster of State is aware of this because myself and the Minister of State, Deputy Cannon, are its champions. It is very unfortunate that some weeks ago it came to our attention that the Quiet Man Greenway has been removed from the initial greenway strategy plan. I do not know why but I wonder if it is the price of getting an Independent Minister in Government. I do not think that is what the Minister of State, or indeed, his colleagues, believes in. It is frustrating for me to talk about a greenway strategy because I feel that we will never see it. I am talking about going from Tuam to Athenry to Milltown, 42 km of gold, as the Minister of State described it earlier. During the week, some of the Minister of State's colleagues said that the Minister is anti-rural Ireland but he should show that he is not and look at our greenway strategy which would rejuvenate places such as Tuam, Milltown, Ballyglunin and Abbyknockmoy. As Deputy Jack Chambers noted, we completed the M3, which runs adjacent to this greenway, and put in a cycleway along it. It was only unfortunate that we did not also put in lights because that would have enabled good access for cycling and walking.
The only freight currently coming to east Galway is people. We want to bring them in on their bikes. That is our goal.