A Galway City Councillor has lashed out at environmental group An Taisce, accusing them of hindering the development of the city.
The Independent Councillor this week welcomed news that Galway Harbour Board is ready to submit a planning application for a deep water port in the city, which he said would enhance and expand leisure and tourism facilities in Galway.
However, he severely criticised An Taisce for their comments and said he believed that the organisation was trying to hinder the development and viability of the harbour and the city.
The outburst follows comments by Galway’s An Taisce spokesperson Derrick Hambleton, who stated that the development was a waste of money and not viable given that there is a deep water port in Foynes.
“I would question whether An Taisce would prefer to see shops closed on the main streets or would they prefer jobs to be created and protected, as in my view protecting jobs should be foremost in the current economic climate,’ said Cllr McDonnell.
“Galway is surrounded by water and we should be using this natural resource to further improve our economic situation. The city environment and the city businesses need an injection of people and this is one way of improving the economic fare of the businesses in the heart of Galway.”
Cllr McDonnell continued to call on local Dáil representatives to ensure that funding is provided for the “much-needed development” and make sure that it proceeds as soon as possible.
“This deep water port could create a hub of leisure and tourism, which would follow on from the success of the two Volvo Ocean Race stopovers in Galway,” he said.
“The development of a deep water port would also create opportunities for 20 to 30 cruise liners per year to come into Galway and not just the few that Mr Hambleton of An Taisce has stated.”
He also complimented the work done by city officials and Galway Harbour Board in bringing the project to this stage.