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Meeting over health and safety concerns on Arranmore

Arranmore Island Lighthouse

A MEETING is taking place in the Council Offices in Dungloe tomorrow (Wednesday) to discuss the serious health and safety concerns about road conditions on Arranmore Island.

The meeting has been called by Islands Committee member, Cllr Micheál Cholm Mac Giolla Easbuig and will be attended by Minister of State at the Department of Culture with responsibility for Gaeilge, Gaeltacht and the Islands Joe McHugh TD (FG), Thomas Pringle TD (Ind), representatives from Failte Ireland, the Managers of Arranmore Island and Tory Island Co-Ops, and senior officers with the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht. 

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The meeting has been called to address the state of the roads leading up to the lighthouses on both islands and the need for the Department to provide funding for their repair. 

Speaking to the Donegal News this week a frustrated Cllr McGiolla Easbaig said this isn’t the first meeting he has called with the Department.

He said he attended a meeting two months ago with Arranmore Co-op Manager, Noreen Muldowney when he raised the need for funding for roads on the islands that are not under the responsibility of the County Council such as the Ring Road and the Lighthouse Road on Arranmore and the road leading to Tory lighthouse.

Cllr McGiolla Easbaig said nothing materialised from this meeting and has been working consistently with the managers of the two Co-Ops.

He said the Department is unwilling to fund roads not under the responsibility of the Council. However, he also said it is up to the members of the Council to decide what roads come under their remit. 

It’s like a merry-go-round and it has been like that for a number of years. All these bodies are under the control of the free state Government. One arm of the Government is saying one thing and another arm is saying another thing.”

It was this reason Cllr McGiolla Easbaig called the meeting in order to bring all the relevant bodies around the same table. 

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We are asking people to come to our most scenic spots in our county. People go deliberately to see lighthouses and there is a new found interest in them,” he said. 

Tourists are being told now on Arranmore not to go out to the lighthouse because it is not safe.“We are talking about fixing roads. We are a first world country and we are trying to persuade the rest of the world to come to our islands.” 

Cllr McGiolla Easbaig said there is a lot of interest in the issue and will be updating the public on the outcome of the meeting. 

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