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Statement by Mayo Chambers on the Western Rail Corridor

19th June 2008 


Following a meeting of the six Mayo Chambers we have agreed to issue the following joint statement:

We note the tremendous work being undertaken on rebuilding the Ennis-Claremorris section of the Western Rail Corridor, in line with the vision set out by government in the National Spatial Strategy, connecting the hub towns of Ballina and Castlebar with their Gateway city of Galway.

The Western Rail Corridor represents half of one percent of the expenditure under Transport 21. It is the only public transport capital project in the West of Ireland, 14 of the 18 rail projects being for the Greater Dublin Area.

A review of the northern section of this railway between Claremorris and Sligo is due to take place in 2008, as recommended in the McCann Report. We would urge that this review commence as soon as possible and as part of this review, consideration should be given to providing increased connectivity to Ireland West Airport, Ireland's fourth International Airport.

Lack of connectivity is often cited as an impediment to development in the BMW region. As the region's only international airport, the economic benefit of Ireland West Airport cannot be overstated. Its tourism potential for County Mayo alone is immense, with major international attractions such as Ballina "the Salmon Capital of Ireland", Knock Shrine, The National Museum at Turlough, Castlebar, The Ceide Fields, Achill and Westport, all within easy reach.

In addition, the recent increase in rail freight from Mayo and Sligo to Waterford will deliver in excess of euro10 million in cost savings over the next five years, while eliminating 3.4 million lorry miles from our roads.

Ireland West Airport and the Western Rail Corridor greatly add to the economic competitiveness of the BMW Region and contribute toward the Governments policy of Balanced Regional Development.


  • Audrey Robinson, President Ballina Chamber
  • Enda Caulfield, President Ballyhaunis Chamber
  • James Kean, President Claremorris Chamber
  • Peter Glynn, President Castlebar Chamber
  • Derek Reilly, President Belmullet Chamber
  • Simon Cronin, President Westport Chamber








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