At Monday’s meeting of Mayo County Council, Councillors approved a proposal to seek the designation of the former Asahi site in Killala as a Strategic Development Zone (SDZ). This issue was first raised by Fine Gael Councillor Jarlath Munnelly at a meeting of the Ballina Municipal District last year. Following this decision, Mayo County Council will write to the Minister for Housing, Planning & Local Government Eoghan Murphy, requesting designation for this site.

Speaking on the issue at Monday’s meeting, Cllr. Munnelly outlined the particular assets that this site contains, including connectivity to the national electricity grid, the location of the transatlantic optical fibre landing station on the site, in addition to water and sewerage facilities. Cllr. Munnelly also highlighted the projects in development on or near the site that are going to generate renewable electricity, which will be a big advantage to the site.

The proposal received cross party support at the meeting, with many Councillors pointing out the importance of this site to all of North Mayo.

Responding to the proposal, council chief executive Peter Hynes welcomed the idea, and outlined that the process would not be straight forward. But he acknowledged the uniqueness of the site, the significant land holding that Mayo County Council has here, and the potential it offers for job creation.

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