The rejection of an afforestation licence at one of the most scenic locations in the country and the inspiration for WB Yeats’ renowned poem, ‘The Lake Isle of Innisfree’ has been welcomed by Cllr Thomas Walsh.
Cllr Walsh, who represents the region which is located close to the Sligo-Leitrim border welcomed confirmation from Minister Andrew Doyle, Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine that an application for afforestation licence at Innisfree, Ballintogher has been rejected.
In correspondence with Cllr Walsh, Minister Doyle said, “Having considered this entire application, its scale and impact on the surrounding landscape and taking into account its proximity to Lough Gill, the application was refused.”
Welcoming the decision to refuse the application for conifer plantation of 14.6 acres Cllr Walsh said, “This refusal is a win for our community and for Sligo. The site in question is located along the shore of Trawane Bay, Lough Gill, adjacent to the Lake Isle of Innisfree and has recently been purchased by a developer.
“The Lake Isle of Innisfree is one of our most scenic areas in the county where thousands of visitors descend on annually and arguably has been untouched for many decades. Its stunning panoramic views are well documented worldwide with the “Lake Isle” immortalised by WB Yeats. Its protected habitat by way of a “special area of conservation” and the “Sligo Way” which passes by the open viewpoint of the “Lake Isle” would be severly impacted by such a plantation. This proposed plantation would have hindered views of the lakeshore, North Sligo Mountains and the “Sleeping Giant”.
Cllr Walsh added, “WB Yeats opened with I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree, let us always protect our culture, where we come from and its tradition.”