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Public Debate on Youghal Railway / Greenway

From The East Cork Journal.

On Monday, 14 May at 7pm in The Walter Raleigh Hotel, a Panel of Speakers will address a public meeting and seek the opinions and feedback of the public on the proposed ideas for the Railway line between Midleton and Youghal.

Organisers of the debate, the East Cork Greens, invite and welcome all to share their opinions on ‘Should the railway line connection between Midleton and Youghal be reopened to aid increasing traffic congestion and help Ireland meet its climate action commitments? Should it be converted to a greenway to give the area economic boost?

Speaking with the East Cork Journal Liam Quaide, East Cork Election Candidate said “We spoke with Cork County Council and they are at the planning stage that invites the submission of opinions from the public”. Mr. Quaide went on to say “This project will have a huge impact on quality of life and we would like to hear all the different perspectives. The Green Party recognise the significant boost to tourism and the local economy which the Waterford Greenway has delivered to that region. We want the same for East Cork, and particularly for Youghal, which has not recovered to the same degree as has Midleton. We also recognise the needs of a growing population, and the fact that traffic congestion is a major quality of life issue for thousands of commuters taking the N25 every day. This congestion is only going to worsen if we don’t radically improve our public transport system. Ambulances coming from Co. Waterford to CUH are also getting caught in this gridlock. We believe the Greenway should happen, but not at the expense of the railway. We need both initiatives for the region and it is only a lack of political imagination and ambition that is preventing this from coming about. Ireland is also bound by EU carbon emission reduction targets, and we are set to be fined several hundred million Euro by 2020 for not meeting these. The fines will accumulate by many millions year on year thereafter. The recent National Development Plan for 2040 set out progressive public transport initiatives for Dublin. Proposals for the rest of the country were primitive by comparison”.

Speakers on the night include, amongst others, Eamon Ryan Leader of the Green Party, Dan Boyle, former Cork Greens TD and Senator, Sinn Féin’s Pat Buckley.

Whatever the public opinion or outcome, Youghal needs and deserves a boost. The railway line bringing people from the city and elsewhere down to the beautiful beach and town is now, it seems, the stuff of nostalgia. Could those days be brought back, or has the time passed for that? Would a Greenway be a better option when its positive effects on Dungarvan are so clear to see? Is there any way to accommodate both ideas?

Whichever way you lean, there is now a chance to voice your opinion at the debate on Monday 14 May at 7pm in the Walter Raleigh.