From Castlebar - County Mayo -

Local Papers Commentary
Mayo News - 17 Sep 2003
By The Jaundiced Eye
20, Sep 2003 - 20:04

County Development Plan pays lip service to environmental development, say Mayo Greens

THE Mayo Greens expressed dismay at the deletion of strategies aimed specifically at ensuring sustainable development in Mayo over the coming years in the proposed amendments to the County Development Plan. The party concluded that the proposed amended Development Plan paid lip service only to sustainable development in the County - a move which would have negative impact for all Mayo residents in the future.

Reportedly 2000 modifications were made by our councillors who, by profession, just happen to have a majority of auctioneers land-owners in their midst - i.e. more than half of the 31 councillors have a financial interest in such matters as the price of land, rezoning, etc. In the week of the Dunleer scandal and following Bertie Ahern's call for a free for all in rural housing all I can do is laugh I'm afraid. The Greens will be banging their head against the wall though until they get into real politics. They have to broaden their base and convince people not to vote for politicians with a vested interest in being in charge of the planning process.


Action is needed to protect 25,000 tourism jobs – Ireland West Chairman

THE tourism industry in Mayo, Galway and Roscommon must meet the challenges of improving the product for visitors, marketing it more effectively remain price competitive with other destinations and provide the necessary training for newcomers to the industry. This was the warning given by Mr. Richard O’Hara, Chairman, when he addressed the annual meeting of Ireland-West Tourism in Achill. He said nothing less was needed to protect and grow an industry that generates over 600 million euro in tourism revenue for the region and sustained 25,000 jobs or job equivalents across the three counties. It was the first time in the 40-year history of the organisation that the annual meeting took place in Achill, one of the oldest holiday destinations in the West. Mr. O’Hara said the very late start to the season and poor returns and shortfalls from some markets could no longer be explained away by threats of terrorism and the downturn in the world economy.

It’s interesting to see the size of the income generated by tourism. If tourism generates 600,000,000 euro in this region and 25,000 jobs this makes it the most important industry by a mile I suspect. The report mentions declining standards in friendliness, environmental problems and of course prices. At the end of the summer we all know how our prices compare with those in other parts of Europe – especially those in the euro zone. They used to say you can’t eat scenery but 600M euro and 25,000 jobs says you can. Of course this items is directly related to the item on the county development plan. I wonder if over half of the county councillors were active in the tourism business would there have been so many amendments made. We mustn’t kill the goose etc….

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