Purchase of Knockma land agreed

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Galway East TD Paul Connaughton believes that a deal to complete the purchase of lands on the summit of Knockma has been completed.

‘After arranging meetings between the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, the landowner and Minister Humphreys in recent months, I am delighted that negotiations are in the process of being concluded. This is great news for the Tuam region and this will allow the development of an amenity of regional importance on Knockma.

‘Once a purchase is complete our efforts will have to focus on the completion of the walkway. Tremendous credit is due to the local community for the work they have done on this project over many years to create a fantastic amenity for recreational walkers in the region.

‘Knockma is at the heart of Celtic mythology in this region, being the reputed place where Finnbheara, King of the Connacht fairies and the protector of horses and crops, holds court and some believe it to be the burial place of Queen Maeve.

‘The eastern side of Knockma has been in state ownership for decades, but the western side is in private ownership. The existing walkway was confined to one side of the hill, but this deal to purchase six acres at the top of the hill will allow walkers to enjoy much greater access and much better views across to Clare, Connemara and Croagh Patrick.

‘The summit of the 170 metre hill, also known as Castlehackett Hill, features three cairns or burial mounds and these proved of special interest to Minister Humphreys when she visited Knockma last February at my invitation.

‘Now that the deal is complete, this will be a facility that can be marketed throughout Ireland and beyond and one which will require significant promotion in years to come.

‘I would like to commend Minister Humphreys for her interest and enthusiasm and her action on this project since I brought her to view the area in February 2015. I now look forward to working with the local community towards the creation of a walk to the summit of Knockma and the widespread promotion of this fantastic outdoor amenity.’