Environment Minister Alex Attwood has cancelled a Special meeting with Moyle District Council to address concerns about a National Park in the Glens. The Minister drew a negative response when he failed to show up for a previous engagement in November to address the imposing of National Park status for the Causeway Coast & Glens area. On the night 700 people gathered to hear speakers from Wales warn of the dangers of allowing National Park status to be conferred on the District. Mr. Attwood was represented by an empty chair and a nameplate bearing his title.
Independent Councillor Padraig Mc Shane said he was unsurprised by the latest withdrawal indicating the Minister had nothing to back up his previous claims on National Parks;
“No qualitative or quantitative evidence has been presented at any stage to justify why the people of the Glens should wish to reside in a National Park. The opposite is true with empirical evidence supplied indicating only carnage for the locality.”
The Councillor went on to add;
“It is this reason that prevented the Minister from coming to Ballycastle to defend his proposals. The Minister should be allowed to evidence his case but he is well aware he is running on empty.”
The SDLP man also failed to show at a public meeting in Newcastle when over 900 people packed into the Sleive Donard Hotel only to learn that the Minister was a late withdrawal.
The Mournes is no longer being considered for National Park status by the Environment Minister. The Antrim Glens, Causeway coast and Fermanagh Lakelands have been identified as potential sites.