WICKLOW UPLANDS COUNCIL HOLDS AGM
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.