An Bord Pleanála has finally approved a plan for a controversial ring road route around Galway City, which could cause disruption to NUI Galway campus life.
The proposed 18-kilometre N6 Galway City Ring Road route will cost a proposed 600 million euros and is aimed at improving traffic blockages around Galway City, but has caused controversy for many years, dating as far back as the 1990’s.
The route would also cut through Dangean Sportsground, where clubs at NUI Galway hold their sports activities as well as demolish local homes in the area.
It is unclear at the time of printing when the construction of the ring road project will start to take place.
The advisory group of NUI Galway’s student clubs has told SIN that they “are not in a position to comment on it yet.”
NUI Galway’s Student Union’s Clubs Captain Kirsty Moran added that “we do not feel we have enough confirmed information to make a valid decision on our stance on the Ring Road and its effect on clubs.”
She also added that the upcoming discussions made on the ring road project would be monitored closely by the advisory group.
The ring road route has also received mixed reactions from local authorities and politicians.
Tánaiste Leo Varadkar tweeted his full support for the project, stating it would make Galway City “more liveable for residents and visitors and safer for cyclists.”
Both Galway City and County Council also tweeted their support for the decision, stating that avoiding demolishing houses was not possible when planning the route.
However, An Bord Pleanála acknowledged in their decision that the demolition of homes would have a “significant to permanent impact on homeowners” living along the proposed route currently.
There are also concerns that the proposed Ring Road Route will not be eco-friendly and fall in line with the Government’s current Climate Action Plan 2021, despite having regarded the 2019 version of the plan.
The current climate action plan has set goals of net-zero emissions by the year 2050, and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2030.
Senator and Green Party chairperson Pauline O’Reilly has also spoken to barristers to discuss the possibility of a judicial review of the decision. If successful, this could mean the construction of the route could be blocked in court.