Stakeholders Welcome Commencement of Sustainable Access and Habitat Restoration Project on Croagh Patrick
The Chairman of Croagh Patrick Stakeholders Group, Mr. Martin Keating, has announced the commencement of the Sustainable Access and Habitat Restoration work on Croagh Patrick. He warmly congratulated Mr. Matt McConway, an experienced path builder from Scotland, on his appointment as Path Manager for the project. Mr. McConway leads a team of four trainees who will implement the Sustainable Access and Habitat Restoration plan over the next two years.
The technical solution, which has been five years in the making, involved a unique collaborative process between the most experienced upland path consultants and contractors in Scotland, England and Ireland together with all the stakeholders on Croagh Patrick. It involved trial path work on the Summit to confirm that the proposed solution for this unique upland site was fit for purpose. The Planning process involved consultation with the statutory consultees, together with extensive engagement with Community, Church and Recreational users and has confirmed the support of all for the project including the formal approval of the Planning Authority. The Stakeholder Group has put in place an appropriate Corporate Structure and has acquired an interest in the path to facilitate the project proceeding in an orderly and safe manner. The project is co-funded by the Department of Rural and Community Development and Mayo County Council.
Mr. Keating acknowledged the support of the Department of Rural and Community Development, and in particular Deputy Michael Ring in his former role as Minister. He also thanked the Members of Mayo County Council for providing match funding of €120,000 for the project.
Mr. Keating congratulated all the Stakeholders for their commitment, and support for the project over a five-year period. In particular, he thanked the Mountain Shareholders for their generosity and trust without which the project could not have been advanced. He thanked Mr. Chris York, Walking-the-Talk Consultancy, Ms. Helen Lawless, Mountaineering Ireland and Ms. Caroline Goucher for their inspiration and dedication to the project. Finally, he thanked Portwest for their sponsorship of PPE and the Westport Credit Union for providing banking facilities.
Having reached this significant milestone, The Croagh Patrick Stakeholders Group looks forward to the next two years, as the plans to deliver a shared vision for Croagh Patrick are put in place, stone by stone. We are confident that we have the team in place with the capacity and commitment to deliver an exemplar access solution for Croagh Patrick, while developing the skills, structures and arrangements required to maintain and manage it sustainably into the future.
Photographer Michael McLaughlin