Council Rule Against Rezoning Land Adjacent to Loughrea Enclosed Order
Galway Independent July 12th 2002
Galway County Council has ruled against rezoning land adjacent to the enclosed order of the Carmelite nuns in Loughrea. The Council ruled to retain the land for agricultural rather than residential use.
The Carmelite Order has a 300 year history in Loughrea and is currently surrounded by extensive green space. However, a proposal in the Loughrea Development Plan to rezone some of this land for residential use came under fire by the nuns and local residents and was represented by councillors on Monday nights meeting.
More than 3,000 local residents in Loughrea signed a petition in support of the local nuns at the Carmelite Convent, The Mother Prioress of St Joseph’s Monastery said the land for the proposed development is immediately adjoining the convent wall, and the Carmelite Cemetery is right up beside the proposed buildings.
“Our Cemetery is fenced off and the nun’s use the remaining area to exercise in. This is the only available ground for the nun’s to walk and exercise in. We do not go on holidays or leave the enclosure for any reason except for medical purposes or such like,” she said.
Mayor of Loughrea Cllr Pat Hynes presented the petition to the County Council and Cllr Matt Loughnane proposed that the lands be retained for agricultural use. Council members said that there was more than enough land zoned for residential use in Loughrea and that the preservation of green space was essential, particularly adjacent to the convent.
“The plan is being driven by landowners and developers. There is more land zoned for residential use than would be needed for the population growth of the whole county,” County Manager Donal O’Donoghue said. On voting the council ruled against the rezoning of the land for residential use.