Almost 15,000 signatures have been gathered in less than 24 hours in an attempt to stop the sale of 5,000 acres of land in the Dublin Mountains.
The huge site came on the market a number of weeks ago with a price tag of €2.5m. It is being sold on behalf of the estate of the late developer Liam Maye.
However, the site, which is mostly wilderness, is of little commercial value. It is hoped the State might step in to purchase it for use as a national park.
The fear is that if the State does not purchase the site, it will be bought by a private party.
“I think we are going to be able to win this. It’s not a development site, 93% of it is a conservation area. It’s not of huge commercial value,” Green Party TD Eamon Ryan told the Irish Examiner.
“It doesn’t have national park status. The site goes to the edge of the national park in Wicklow , so it would be the perfect extension. It would bring that park right up into Dublin and increase it by 10%.”
Mr Ryan brought up the matter in Leinster House last week with Minister of State for Regional Economic Development Michael Ring, who is appointed to the Department of Arts, Heritage, and the Gaeltacht, which has responsibility for the National Parks and Wildlife Services.
Mr Ryan hopes the wildlife service will step in to buy the land. He has started a petition to show ministers the public sentiment behind his proposal.
“We put the petition up at 3pm on Monday and it’s to show Minister Ring and Minister for Finance Michael Noonan that people want to stop the sale. The fear is that someone from the private sector could come in and buy it,” said Mr Ryan. “The ball is in the court of the National Parks and Wildlife Service and the State to come up with an offer and to get a deal done. There is a certain urgency because there will be horrific haggling with a private party if one were to move in and buy it.”
Commercial real estate firm CBRE is in charge of the sale.
The site, called Glenasmole Lands, is located 3.5km to the south-west of Tallaght and extends to the borders of Wicklow and the Wicklow National Park.
“The development potential of the Glenasmole Lands is very limited,” says CBRE.
“The land is predominantly undeveloped and is generally classified as moorland/mountain land.”
A spokesperson for the Department of Arts, Heritage, and Gaeltacht said the minister is actively considering the issue.
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