Heated debate at County Hall over Athenry cycleway

Galway Bay fm newsroom – There was heated debate at County Hall this week over discussion about the potential for the National Cycleway to pass through Athenry.

The National Cycleway will run from Dublin to Galway – and planners are currently evaluating five possible route options from Athlone to Galway

Of the five routes, Athenry is featured in four, meaning the odds are heavily in the towns favor for inclusion in the 270km route.

But there was heated debate at County Hall this week as Councillor Shelly Herterich Quinn appeared to throw cold water over the town’s prospects.

She claimed that decision makers have ruled out Athenry as a route option, in part due to comments recently featured in the media by a local group.

She said she is “extremely upset” by the situation and warned this group needs to “wring its neck in”.

Council executives expressed confusion over the claims and said the route is under consideration and there is no public knowledge of Athenry being included or excluded.

Contributing to the discussion, Councillor Albert Dolan began by saying he had a good working relationship with his party colleague, Councillor Herterich-Quinn.

But he said it was “disgraceful” that she would make such strong comments in the chamber when no decision has been made.

Acting Cathaoirleach James Charity eventually interjected and said both councillors had had their say, and suggested any further discussion be taken outside.

When contacted by Galway Bay FM News, the Galway to Athlone Cycleway project team confirmed no decision has been made and no route has been excluded from the process at this time.

Discussions are ongoing with landowners on all five proposed routes, and they expect a preferred route to be presented before Christmas.