28 August 2015 No Comments by The Northern Standard

Speaking on his submission to the current Coillte consultation process on future management plans at state forest parks, Sinn Fein Councillor Sean Conlon stated he is hopeful of securing the complete removal of the pay barrier at Rossmore Park.

He continued, “The installation of a pay barrier at the main entrance to Rossmore Park on the Threemilehouse road has been a controversial issue from its introduction in March 2012. In both direct engagements with Coillte management and through Council meetings, I have challenged on a regular basis, the presence of this automated gate that requires €5 for vehicles to gain entry to the car park to Rossmore Park. Similarly our local Sinn Féin Dail Deputy Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD has met with senior management within the Coillte organisation to convey this concern on behalf of park users and press the case for an improvement of facilities at this popular visitor location.

“For a state appointed agency to charge a fee to enter Rossmore Park remains totally unjustifiable especially considering it was donated to the state for the primary purpose of ensuring public access and enjoyment of one of County Monaghan’s most idyllic recreational amenities. Not only has this barrier and tariff acted as a deterrent to those seeking to drive their vehicle into the main car park, it has resulted in a dangerous traffic hazard occurring at the entrances to the Park on the Cootehill Rd as well as the Threemilehouse Rd. There is no doubt that removing the entrance barrier and reverting to free entry to the main car park will enhance both vehicle and pedestrian safety.

Coillte’s Interests Are Corporate

Cllr. Conlon highlights the fact there is a major flaw in the oversight of state owned facilities such as Rossmore Park when he said, “There is a complete lack of local representation within Coillte, a democratic deficit, to ensure the management of Rossmore Park is overseen in the best interests of both local users and visitors to the area. By its own admission, Coillte’s main focus is a corporate one; the cultivation, harvesting and processing of timber, as well as the establishment of wind farms. What is urgently required is the involvement of our Local Authority working in partnership with local stakeholder groups representing the interests of walkers, athletes, cyclists, anglers, outdoor/nature enthusiasts, among many more. This would ensure Rossmore Park realising its full potential as a popular attraction for citizens to enjoy healthy pursuits and outdoor interests”. Cllr. Conlon concluded by encouraging citizens to submit a submission to the consultation opportunity before the deadline of Friday 5pm August 28th by accessing www.coillte.ie


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