The recent news about the sale of Glenasmole Valley by NAMA in the Dublin Mountains has upset many people who enjoy the outdoors in the Dublin/Wicklow region. After an online petition was circulated to the public it looks like action may be taken to resolve the matter. In the meantime, we strongly urge our government to step in and stop the sale of important lands for conservation and recreation in the Dublin Mountains.
An Óige Board Chairperson Darragh Miller said “the development and expansion of the Wicklow Mountains National Park has been done very carefully and strategically over the past twenty years and is one of the great conservation successes in Ireland”. An Óige stated that the organisation is aware that when the then Government first considered having a national park in the Dublin and Wicklow Mountains the aim was to eventually have a park of some 75,000 acres in State ownership. The 5,000 acres of land held by NAMA would be a key element of the planned Park.
Secretary of the An Óige Conservation committee, Philip Hayden said “I know this area well. There are some lovely brooks which gather together to form the river Dodder here. The fact that this is a Special Area of Conservation and of minimal commercial value, means that it should not be up for public sale. If we think in terms of the recreational, cultural and environmental value of this land it should be incumbent upon the Minister for Finance to take action which would benefit the greater public interest. The body most suited to looking after it is obviously the National Parks and Wildlife Service. It should remain as part of our community natural assets.”
An Óige are delighted to hear today that the Minister of State for Heritage is keen for the state to buy the land. In the meantime we will continue to add our voice to the push on government representatives to resolve this issue.
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