Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh speaks out against sites proposed for oyster farms

Altan founder tells RnaG, 'The community is united and that's a great thing.'

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Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh speaks out against sites proposed for oyster farms

Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh

Musician and singer Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh of Altan has added her voice to those of local residents who oppose the proposed siting of two oyster farms on Rosses strands.

Speaking today to RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta (RnaG), Mairéad said the community stood together against plans for oyster farms at Keadue Strand and Cruit Strand, and said they must keep up the pressure against the plans.

The Keadue application was withdrawn last week. The Cruit application proposes a 12.5-hectare project in Kincasslagh Bay at Cruit Strand from applicant Benedetta M.C. Cazzamali of County Cork.

Speaking to RnaG's Aodh Máirtín Ó Fearraigh, Mairéad said, "It took us by surprise when we heard about (the application), because it was almost through already."

She said, "There are a lot of people around the Rosses and Gaoth Dobhair who use that area, because it's a beautiful place to go walking or to bring your children, a safe place to swim."

The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine received about 1,500 submissions on the Keadue application and about 1,700 submissions on the Cruit application. A department spokesperson said the Keadue application has been withdrawn and that matter is now closed.

"I'm really proud," Mairéad told RnaG. "It's great that the community came together and protested strongly against the plans."

She said she believed the oyster farms would ruin the landscape and said it would be more difficult to draw people to the area, which is part of the Wild Atlantic Way tourism route.

“The community is united and that’s a great thing," she said. "I don’t think it’s going to benefit the areas of Céideadh or Cruit to have a farm like that. The people’s voice is the most important thing here, and I hope we’ll be listened to.”