Iarnród Éireann (Irish Rail) is steaming ahead with its plan to lift 14 miles of railway line between Claremorris in County Mayo and Tuam in County Galway.
In the countryside 5 miles to the north of Tuam, large sections of the track have been cut up for removal in a controversial operation described by community leaders in Claremorris and Tuam as
Yet another hammer blow to the economy of the West.
Iarnród Éireann spokesperson Cyril Ferris explains how the programme will work. The removed railway lines will be taken to a rail plant in County Laois for reconditioning. These will replace problematic sections of rail in Ballina in County Mayo. The rails removed from the Ballina branch will then be reconditioned and replace the section originally removed from Claremorris and Tuam.
President of Tuam Chamber of Commerce Paul O'Grady is not convinced by this plan describing it as
Economic madness...absolute nonsense...lunacy.
Joe Gilligan of the Claremorris Chamber of Commerce is fearful the tracks will never be replaced and the line will be permanently closed.
If they take up one...that track is gone, finished, and there is nobody, and I mean nobody, from here to Dublin, particularly in Dublin who gives one highland fling about it.
An RTÉ News report by Jim Fahy broadcast on 15 November 1991