An Open Letter to Minister Denis Naughten
Dear Minister Naughten,
I feel compelled to write to you after hearing the decision to grant planning permission for a 34-acre solar farm at Creevyquin townland, Roscommon. It is scheduled to be built across the road from houses lived in by my family and neighbours, about a mile from the town.
Fifteen families from the neighbourhood showed their disapproval of this solar farm project by signing a petition aimed at stopping it going ahead. However, we were not listened to. It seems to me that residents expressing their views is a waste of time. Let me make it quite clear to you minister, I do not want a solar farm in Creevyquin.
It is my strong view that residential areas such as Creevquin are totally inappropriate locations for the size and scale needed for solar farms. In this case, Roscommon Co. Council has allowed the go-ahead for this large-scale development, a decision which I believe to be against the wishes of the majority of the community.
I have no objection to the building of solar farms, however, there is an appropriate place for them and it’s not across from family homes. We can already view wind farms in Sliabh Ban in Strokestown from our front gardens. With regard to the solar farm, please do not give the excuse that we will not see them.
Minister, in ‘The Irish Examiner’ on January 9th, 2017, in relation to solar farms, you stated “we need to start bringing people with us” instead of “bulldozing ahead and telling people we are going to do this, that, or the other.” You promise “this will not happen on my watch.”
Again, in The Irish Examiner on April 28th, 2017 it is reported that solar panels are being introduced into four remote areas of bogland in Roscommon, Kildare and Offaly. Creevyquin is not a remote bogland. It is a thriving residential community expanding year after year with a strong tradition of families helping each other in times of need.
You are the Minister of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources. I am asking you to stand together with us, the residents of Creevyquin, now – so that this totally unsuitable development will not go ahead.
Evelyn Killeen McCrann
Deputy Fitzmaurice responds to criticism from Fine Gael
In last week’s ‘People Platform’, Fine Gael activist Gary Stephens accused Deputy Michael Fitzmaurice of using alleged rumours about Roscommon A&E for his own political advantage. Deputy Fitzmaurice, wrote Mr. Stephens, is a backbench TD “who deals in rumours” and who should stop using the hospital for political gain. Deputy Fitzmaurice has submitted the following response:
In reply to Gary Stephens’ letter last week, I wish to make the following points:
* Gary must be suffering from amnesia as it was Fine Gael and Enda Kenny who closed the A&E Unit at Roscommon County Hospital in 2011.
* It is rich for Mr. Stephens and Fine Gael to make accusations about broken election promises after what happened with regard to Roscommon County Hospital during the 2011 election campaign.
* Many undertakings on health services locally which I sought and were agreed in the negotiations for The Programme for Government last year have not been delivered upon. For example, demands such as for a 24-hour air ambulance service and several improvements in the area of mental health services have not been delivered.
* I never stated at any time that the re-opening of Roscommon A&E was up for negotiation but the rumours to that effect came from members of his own party.
* My decision to sit on the opposition benches last year came about because I am a man of my word and the Government could not deliver on a number of red-line issues and promises I made to the people who voted for me. I was not going to compromise for the sake of a few extra euro and the promise of a state car.
With the chaos that exists at UCHG on an ongoing basis there could still be a role for Roscommon A&E in the future and I will continue to fight for local health and other services as I promised the people of this constituency that I would do.
I think that Mr. Stephens’ use of the phrase ‘I had to laugh’ at the start of his letter is most unfortunate as it is people’s lives that we are talking about here.
Michael Fitzmaurice, TD
Small businesses in Roscommon: Some encouraging signs…
Here at the Roscommon People, Roscommon’s locally owned newspaper, we’re thrilled to see a quite sudden and very welcome surge in instances of new businesses opening throughout the county.
Times are still very difficult for small businesses but it’s extremely encouraging to note that four or five new businesses have opened in Roscommon Town in the past six weeks or so as well as some new enterprises springing up in other parts of the county.
Just four months ago Scramogue woman Stephanie Brennan (pictured) took the plunge in Strokestown and now her House.Of.Hair. hair salon is receiving great support from the local community.
We spoke with Stephanie this week and on page 9 of today’s Roscommon People we feature this terrific local success story.
Towns like Strokestown were badly hit during the recession and it’s really positive to see young entrepreneurs showing courage by opening their own businesses. People like Stephanie are to be congratulated and deserve the support of the local community.
Also this week (pages 3 and 56) we feature the 10th anniversary celebrations at the state-of-the-art Lynch Flooring, Golf Links Road, Roscommon.
Lynch Flooring started out in 2007 (in the same year as the Roscommon People) and proprietor Gabriel Lynch and his team have now built up a huge customer base both locally and from further afield.
Indeed the regular influx of customers from adjoining counties to businesses like Lynch Flooring is a huge positive for Roscommon Town as a whole.
It’s great to see local businesses such as Lynch Flooring successfully trading through difficult times and emerging stronger than ever. It’s been a great success story and we say ‘Happy Birthday’ to Gabriel, Annmarie and the team at Lynch Flooring!
As ever, the Roscommon People encourages our 80,000 readers to shop locally…support our local employment providers and keep ‘local money’ in circulation locally!