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Carlingford ferry will spoil the natural beauty of Greencastle

An application for a ferry between Greencastle on the northern shores of Carlingford Lough and Greenore in Co Louth was approved in June 2015, ignoring the concerns of the majority of residents. The justification was that this project is of "national economic importance".

The proposal is riddled with flaws and now, after the council set 25 conditions in June along with the approval, the applicant has just submitted his second tranche of applications to rescind/amend six of these 25.

Greencastle is on the mouth of Carlingford Lough and boasts many designations such as RAMSAR, OSPAR, SPA, ASSI, SSSI and AONB. Wildlife include seahorses, seals, terns, badgers, otters and bats that are all protected and are found within 100 metres of the site of the proposal.

The roads are another issue. Being a cul de sac in a 1.5 mile peninsula, the existing country road will not accommodate an hourly ferry for 14 hours per day with up to 60 cars on each trip.

The road is currently used for walkers, cyclists and horseriders in addition to farming herds and vehicles. The "road-widening" plans include five lay-bys, traffic lights and over 20 new road signs in what is an unspoilt and tranquil part of the countryside.

There is a campaign called Greencastle: Keep It Green which has more than 1,000 people supporting it on Facebook.

Greencastle is only a small hamlet of around 70 houses. However, visitors come in their hundreds during the summer, without any promotion and support from the tourism industry.

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Christine Gibson

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