- 15 October 2012
Fine Gael Roscommon/ South Leitrim Deputy, Frank Feighan, described "as very positive" meeting with Heritage Minister, Jimmy Deenihan, to advance plans for an Irish National Wetlands Park based in Roscommon and Longford. The meeting, which Deputy Feighan mediated, was attended by a number of other local politicians along with members of the National Wetlands Wilderness Park Committee, who have been the key architects behind the proposals.
He said: "The National Wetlands Wilderness Park Committee has envisaged that such a park, using a large network of Bord na Mona bog, would be a huge national and international attraction for walkers and ramblers who could enjoy the spectacular flora and fauna.
"Following the meeting, Minister Deenihan has agreed to meet Bord na Mona with a view to exploring all avenues in a bid to develop what I believe has the potential to become a national tourism landmark.
"The areas of bog in question in Roscommon and Longford cover an area of approximately 18,000 acres, divided into almost equal parts by the Shannon, and is contained within a rectangle measuring some 26 miles.
"Situated on the periphery of these boglands are many Roscommon towns and villages including Roscommon, Strokestown, Rooskey, Tarmonbarry and Ballyleague .
"As the wetlands committee have pointed out, the bogs in this network are interconnected by a narrow gauge railway and a network of excellent public roads .
"The park would also be a haven for bird watchers and a treasure trove of knowledge for students and teachers of botany, biology, the natural sciences, history and archaeology."