Council for the West


Submission to the


Draft Mayo County Development Plan 2007



18 June 2007






The Council for the West is a voluntary, independent, non-political body with charitable status established in 1994 to combat the decline in population and services in rural areas of the West of Ireland. It was set up by the Western Bishops arising out of a report entitled Crusade for Survival.


Its membership is comprised of voluntary, non-remunerated persons compromising representation from the main churches, businesses and community activists.


The Council for the West is concerned with major social and economic issues affecting the development of the counties in the region: Donegal, Leitrim, Sligo, Roscommon, Mayo, Galway and Clare.


Officers are:

Chairman:                Sean Hannick (Mayo)

Vice Chairman:        Declan O'Callaghan (Roscommon)

Secretary:                Michael McGarrigle (Donegal)

Treasurer:               Ray O'Donoghue (Galway)

Co-ordinator:           Caroline Wilson


Contact Details:

Council for the West

Killala Business Park


Co Mayo

Phone:  096 32975

Fax:      096 32014





Having considered the draft of the Mayo County Development Plan 2007, we wish to make the following observations:


This plan should have a strong continuing theme, which runs throughout all of the individual sub-sections, based on the fact that the northern part of the county has for a number of years suffered consistently from de-population. Even now, when every other part of the country has a population increase, this is the only area that continues to lose population. There is no doubt that if this trend continues for another decade or two it may reach critical sustainability limits. This northern region of Mayo (indicated on page 12, Fig 1A), including all of the townlands and villages north of a line which runs from Killala to Newport, needs to be prioritised as a uniquely individual region that demands specific attention, within this development plan.


This region (which shall be referred to as Mayo North West from here on) should be classified as a Status 1 region in the development plan (similar to the categorisation of the BMW region of Ireland as Status 1 disadvantaged region for the purposes of EU funding a number of years ago).


Individual Objectives to be added:






* Mayo North West

This element of the county settlement strategy is aimed at stabilising the consistent population decline in Mayo North West, by prioritising this area for water and sewerage services, facilitating the construction of small scale housing developments in the villages in this region, and prioritising expenditure on other areas of infrastructure. This could also be assisted by tax and other incentives to stimulate development.

          *         Towns & Villages here include: Belmullett, Killala, Newport, Bangor Erris,

Ballycastle, Achill Sound, Keel, Dooagh, Aghleam, Ballycroy, Barnatra, Belderig, Bellacorick, Binghamstown, Bunnacurry, Bunnahown, Carrowteigue, Corran, Curraune, Dooega, Doogort, Glenamoy, Inver, Keenagh, Kincon, Moygownagh, Mulranney, Pollathomish, Portacloy, Porturlin, Rossport.

Finally, anywhere that there are lists of proposed water, sewerage, road or telecommunications projects, special attention should be given to projects within the Mayo North West region.