Press Release/ Preas Ráiteas
The villages of Avoca and Glenealy in the eastern part of Wicklow have seen an increase in their respective populations in recent years. There is a varying spectrum of age groups living in these areas and an increasing young population. Many people commute from these areas for work and education on a daily basis. Whilst there is a very limited bus service available in both villages, the majority of commuters are forced to drive or travel to Rathdrum, Wicklow or Arklow to find a more constant service. This contributes to a constant cost burden on the people of the aforementioned areas. Car insurance, road tax, fuel and running costs are all factored into their weekly cost of living. With wages generally decreasing, and costs of the essentials in modern life increasing, families are finding it harder and harder to make ends meet.
The O Brádaigh/ Ó Raghallaigh cumann is at the cold face of what effects ordinary families right across the county of Wicklow. In the case of the Avoca and Glenealy areas there is a clear opportunity for a stimulus of sort for both communities. Both villages are on the Rosslare-Dublin railway line, with the line running perpendicular to each village. In both cases there were also railway stations present, but they were closed in the 1960’s. Like many things in Ireland we have gone backwards in the pursuit of “progress”. We call for the reinstatement of both of these stations post haste; the reasons in favour of carrying out such work far outweigh the reasons not to.
Environmentally it would be most beneficial, cutting back massively on car use in the areas and thus reducing exhaust emissions. The railway line services the lion share of destinations commuters are travelling to daily i.e. Arklow, Wicklow town, Bray and Dublin city centre etc. Coupled with this both villages offer varying amenities for visitors to travel to, and thus boost the local economy.
Avoca has a tradition of tourism with its former mines and “Ballykissangel” having been filmed there. Meanwhile Glenealy is somewhat a hidden gem with expansive forest walks and one of the oldest churches in the country built by the Church of Ireland. With trains stopping in both villages constantly this could furnish both areas with a high footfall of tourists arriving in Rosslare and Dublin.
In 2012 Iarnród Eireann gave the first glimmer of hope that the stations may be reopened. We urge them to do so; the benefits of such work being undertaken are endless. In our policy documents Éire Nua/Saol Nua the underuse of the Irish rail system is something which we make provisions to remedy. The reintroduction of rail as a means to transport more goods seems like a really viable option to us. We also feel the reopening of the Woodenbridge-Shillelagh railway line would be another great initiative.
If you wish to join with us and make a change in your community why not call us on 0870615093.
E. de Bothún
O Brádaigh/ Ó Raghallaigh Cumann, Shinn Féin Poblachtach, Co. Chill Mhantáin
Críoch / Ends