Údarás na Gaeltacht pressing on with Marine Innovation Park in Connemara despite planning rejections

Galway Daily news Údarás na Gaeltachta to make fresh planning application for Marine Innovation centre in Connemara

Údarás na Gaeltachta remains committed to developing the Pairc na Mara marine industries centre in Cill Chiaráin despite two planning refusals.

Last month saw An Bord Pleanála rejected an appeal by Údarás na Gaeltachta against a decision by the county council to refuse planning permission for the marine park on environmental grounds.

The marine innovation park was a central pillar of Údarás’s strategy for increasing employment and reversing community decline and rural flight.

Údarás na Gaeltachta Chief Executive, Tomás Ó Síocháin attended a public meeting on the future of the project in Cill Chiaráin this week

He was with the Director of Regional and Community Development and Language Planning, Rónán Mac Con Iomaire and the Údarás na Gaeltachta executives steering the Páirc na Mara project.

Representatives from Ryan Hanley Consultants were also present to answer questions on the An Bord Pleanála’s Inspector’s Report on Páirc na Mara.

The message that emerged afterwards was that Údarás remains committed to Pairc na Mara, and is examining its next steps.

“Údarás na Gaeltachta firmly believes that Páirc na Mara could play a pivotal role locally and nationally,” Tomás Ó Síocháin said after the meeting.

“It will create employment, provide training and research opportunities and greatly contribute to the economy of Connemara and the west of Ireland more broadly.”

“This project is indicative of our commitment to the natural resources sector, which will grow exponentially in the coming years.”

“We believe it is important that Páirc na Mara is brought to completion and we are currently examining the best way in which to ensure that.”

He added that the issue of planning is complex, particularly for something of this scale, and that they will be consulting before deciding their next steps.

“We have several weeks in which to fully examine the issue and we feel that it is important to do so in a prudent and measured manner.”

He added that Údarás is grateful to the community of Iorras Aithneach in Connemara for their longstanding support for the project.