Seeking movement on Knockma negotiations

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Galway East TD Paul Connaughton this week said that officials from OPW are to visit Knockma in coming weeks to view the heritage aspects of the site as negotiations for the purchase of land on the summit continue.

‘In recent weeks I became frustrated with the lack of progress on negotiations to purchase part of the summit of Knockma to allow the creation of an enhanced walking amenity. This is a very important purchase in terms of tourism in the Tuam region; this purchase, if concluded, would allow a much enhanced visitor experience at Knockma and I believe would create an opportunity to significantly boost walking visitor numbers in the region.

‘With this in mind I met with Minister Heather Humphreys TD last week and urged upon her the need for this purchase by the Department of Arts, Heritage and Gaeltacht to be concluded as quickly as possible. OPW is responsible for assessing the value of the site and following my meeting with the Minister, officials from the OPW are to visit the site again in the next two to three weeks to view the heritage aspect of the site and further assess the value.

‘I will keep pushing for progress on this issue. Walking, running and outdoor tourism is only in its infancy in this part of the west of Ireland and I believe that we need to identify flagship sites and amenities and create the type of outdoor amenity that people now require, natural, rugged and often difficult terrain, which is also accessible and open to the public.

‘Knockma can be a flagship project for this region. It has a wonderfully rich heritage in terms of both mythology and physical monuments. The local community has done exceptional work to date in terms of creating a walking amenity. What is needed now is for officials from the OPW to recognise the true potential of this site in terms of securing access to an important site for the public, and allowing the potential to create a wonderful outdoor amenity which would bring walkers to the summit of East Galway’s most mythologically significant summit.’