The Nire Valley

The Nire Valley
The Heart of the Comeragh Mountains.

Friday, 7 February 2014

May be we should put up pylons!

Tourism in the Nire was born over 50 years ago when the late Paddy Melody started pony trekking from his pub in the sixties, about the same time the growth in car ownership saw larger numbers of people come to the Nire to visit the lakes.  Following the opening of a number of guesthouses an umbrella tourist organisation for the area was formed in the early eighties. The group, despite its tiny size, has achieved many positive outcomes. Some positive result, though seemly small, took a lot of work, like raising £3,000.00 (€3,800.00) for a display stand.  In more recent times we got a set of looped walks on the Nire side of the Comeragh Mountains; this took years to get in place.

Now, a group based in Wicklow wants the Nire looped walks closed!  They claim there should be no looped walks above the 300m contour, there should be no looped walks taking people into the mountains, they claim these walks are endangering the native habitats.  All very commendable, on the face of it, but for some, unknown, reason they have only targeted the Nire.  There are other looped and linear walks in Ireland over 300m, but these walks have stronger tourist and political interests to protect them and this Wicklow group are not going to endanger their funding by stepping on political or industry toes. Thus the Nire is an easy place for them to get their teeth into, politically isolated and tiny within the overall tourism sector. 
This group produced a report on the Nire walks, which reads like a Transition Year project, and was littered with wild, sweeping and scatter gun statements. When they visited the area this week their mission was so secretive that they did not want to talk with anyone in the Nire. They spoke to people in WIT, none of us in the Nire has a doctorate or letters after our names, and what would we know.  

One of the arguments against pylons is the tourism potential of the Comeragh Mountains, if an East coast quango gets its way, Eirgrid might as well start building pylons and put us all out of our misery. 

Come and walk one of the Nire looped walks before they are decommissioned and the employment potential of tourism in the Nire is knocked back into the stone-age.

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