Saw Doctors guitarist leads campaign to restore right of way in home town

 

THE SAW Doctors’ lead guitarist, Leo Moran, has pledged his support for restoration of a right of way that faces extinction in his home town of Tuam, Co Galway.

The route, now overlaid by a “temporary” car park, linked the town to a local park and leisure centre.

County councillors are due to vote on extinguishing the right of way next month.

Trees, benches and walls were removed during the construction, and elderly residents and school children who used the walkway to reach the swimming pool have been affected, says Moran, who is spokesman for the Restore Our Palace Road campaign.

Labour councillor Shaun Cunniffe, who is backing the campaign, said he and other Tuam councillors had supported the original plan to build a €34 million town centre development, which would have involved sacrificing the walkway. But he said he was shocked to find the development was not proceeding, and that the developer had opted to build a car park instead, removing the Palace Road route in the process.

Developer Joe O’Toole, owner of Supervalu in Tuam, said he had approval for the car park, which he stressed was temporary, and he had installed an alternative route linking the pool to the town. He was waiting for an upturn in the economy to build the town centre development, which had planning approval until 2015, he added.

However, Moran said: “We want the public right of way retained and something similar to the old road put back.

“This road was very important to all the students who use the pool, the elderly and people with disabilities. One teacher now has to get a taxi to bring her autistic children’s class to the leisure centre.”