Wicklow People (West Edition) - - NEWS - By MYLES BUCHANAN

THERE was a full house at the Wick­low Up­lands Coun­cil’s AGM and panel meet­ing event held in the Glen­dalough Ho­tel.

Be­gin­ning at 7 p.m., the evening got un­der­way with a joint ses­sion of all four of its pan­els, pro­vid­ing a won­der­ful op­por­tu­nity for net­work­ing and dis­cus­sion amongst the var­i­ous rep­re­sen­ta­tives and to make nom­i­na­tions to the Coun­cil’s Board of Di­rec­tors.

The pan­els which rep­re­sent a di­verse range of in­ter­ests are – Com­mu­nity, Eco­nomic and Tourism, En­vi­ron­ment and Re­cre­ation and Farm­ing and Land Own­ers. Is­sues raised by the dif­fer­ent pan­els in­cluded poor broad­band, ru­ral crime, ru­ral iso­la­tion, dog con­trol, the 183 bus ser­vice, a short­age of ac­com­mo­da­tion for vis­i­tors and over­ca­pac­ity at the monas­tic site of Glen­dalough dur­ing peak times.

Fol­low­ing a quick break for re­fresh­ments, the AGM com­menced at 8 p.m. with Wick­low Up­lands Coun­cil Chair Tom Byrne wel­com­ing every­one in at­ten­dance, some of whom had trav­elled from sur­round­ing coun­ties to par­tic­i­pate.

Brian Dunne, the Co­or­di­na­tor of the Coun­cil, then gave an ex­ten­sive over­view of the mul­ti­tude of projects and ini­tia­tives; in­clud­ing the SUAS Pi­lot Project, Deer Man­age­ment Project, the Vil­lage Her­itage In­ter­pre­ta­tive Pan­els, new and ex­ist­ing trail de­vel­op­ment and the ad­min­is­tra­tion of the Pure Project.

The key­note ad­dress of the evening was de­liv­ered by Min­is­ter of State for Food, Forestry and Hor­ti­cul­ture, An­drew Doyle, who com­pli­mented the Coun­cil on its ex­ten­sive ef­forts to rep­re­sent all of the com­mu­ni­ties across the up­lands.

Min­is­ter Doyle drew spe­cial at­ten­tion to one of the key projects the coun­cil has de­vel­oped over a num­ber of years, the SUAS Pi­lot Project, which in­volves work­ing with the farm­ing com­mu­nity to sup­port hill farm­ing and com­mon­age groups in the up­lands.

He noted that as one of only 23 projects to re­ceive fund­ing through the EIP-AGRI ini­tia­tive, it has gen­er­ated con­sid­er­able in­ter­est across the EU through its in­volve­ment with con­fer­ences and the host­ing of an EU Del­e­ga­tion re­cently vis­it­ing the area.

The Round­wood based TD, shared that the Coun­cil had been suc­cess­ful in its ten­der for the com­pet­i­tive Deer Man­age­ment Project, due to a well es­tab­lished rep­u­ta­tion and wide skill set needed to un­der­take such large scale projects.

Min­is­ter Doyle also af­firmed his sup­port to the Coun­cil and their ef­forts to source sus­tain­able core fund­ing.

Gar­van Hickey, Carmel Vick­ers, Brian Dunne, Min­is­ter An­drew Doyle, Tom Byrne, Cllr Shay Cullen and Jeff Sey­mour.

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