A Mayo resident has launched a petition to "save" one of Ireland's most beautiful beaches from the threat of a €4 million construction project. 

Oisín O'Connor launched the petition to "Save Keem Bay" on change.org, which has already generated more than 2,000 signatures.  

Located on Achill Island off the coast of Mayo, Keem Bay is one of Ireland's most scenic beaches and O'Connor is attempting to prevent construction work from causing "untold" physical and visual damage to the beach. 

Mayo TD Alan Dillon recently confirmed that construction work is set to begin on Keem Bay's "Signature Discovery Point" later this year.

The work will cost in the region of €3-4 million and will allow for the development of a glass skywalk protruding over the local cliffs in addition to the development of a pedestrian access trail and a skeleton sculpture. 

Dillon said that the work will make Keem Bay one of the "must-see" destinations on the Wild Atlantic Way, but a number of people say man-made structures will ruin the natural beuaty of the beach. 

O'Connor's petition calls for widespread and thorough consulation with the local Achill community before the funding is put to use and also proposes several alternatives to the Signature Discovery Point plan. 

He suggested using the funding to improve drinking water in the area for locals and tourists alike, while he also suggested developing a site at the top of Minuan Cliff which already has a large car park and an access road. 

However, Dillon previously said that it was necessary to improve infrastructure at the beach to draw more tourists to the area. 

"While the natural beauty of Keem is what makes the area famous, it is necessary to tastefully improve the infrastructure if longer-stay tourists are to be attracted to Achill and the surrounding areas of Mayo," Dillon said in January. 

The Fine Gael TD also said that the project will protect the environment while maximizing visitor experiences. 

"We have excellent examples of this such as Ballycroy National Park where significant access and visitor experience improvements were undertaken without negatively impacting on the ecological and natural appeal of the area."

Mayo County Council is currently in the process of appointing Engineering Design Services to the project and work should begin on the Signature Discovery Point by late 2021 or early 2022. 

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