South Kerry Greenway Gets the Go Ahead

The Supreme Court in Ireland has given the green light for the South Kerry Greenway to go ahead. There had been objections to the planning permission but now Kerry County Council can proceed with the planned route. The Greenway will follow the old rail line that skirts the scenic Ring of Kerry. It will run from Glenbeigh to Caherciveen, and will be 27kms, crossing old bridges and overlooking stunning Dingle Bay.

South Kerry Greenway Gets the Go Ahead

The Greenway will be mainly on the disused route of the old Southern and Western Railway. The route will be a 3-metre paved surface with 122 different intersections with other routes. It will also be available to cyclists. The Tralee to Fenit and Listowel to Abbeyfeale Greenways are due to open this summer. They will link Limerick and Kerry for walkers and cyclists.

Greenways – a significant tourist attraction

The development of the off-road Greenways around Ireland has been seen as a significant attraction for local and international tourists. The first, the Great Western Greenway, opened in 2011 and has been a big success. It is perfect for those exploring the Wild Atlantic Way to see the coast up close. It runs for 44kms from Westport to Achill Island around scenic Clew Bay.

Great Western Greenway

The Famine Route

Another recently opened route is the Royal Canal Greenway that links Dublin and Clondra in County Roscommon. It is also known as the famine route as it was the route followed by 1,490 tenants of Strokestown Park. They walked to Dublin to take passage on three ships to Canada during the Great Famine. There is a memorial to this journey at Custom House Quay in Dublin, beside the EPIC the Emigration Museum.

The Copper Coast

In the south of Ireland, the Waterford Greenway links the city of Waterford and the town of Dungarvan. It crosses 11 bridges, three viaducts, and a 400-metre tunnel. The off-road route runs between the city of Waterford, Mount Congreve, Kilmeaden, Kilmacthomas, and Dungarvan. It passes along part of the cliff-hugging Copper Coast and is 46kms long. The route follows a train line, originally the Waterford to Mallow route. It is also part of the EuroVelo 1 route, the long-distance cycling route around Europe.

The Copper Coast on Waterford to Dungarvan Greenway

Great Eastern Greenway

In County Louth, the beginning of the Great Eastern Greenway links the villages of Omeath and Carlingford along the shores of Carlingford Lough. The flat walk is seven kms and follows the old Dundalk to Newry rail line. The scenery is stunning with the Mountains of Mourne to the north and the Cooley Mountains to the south. There are plans to extend this route along the Cooley Peninsula.

The Mountains of Mourne from the Great Eastern Greenway Photo Joan Scales

Cross Border Greenways

The idea of cross-border Greenways has been aired as part of the Shared Island Initiative. These routes could link Sligo to Enniskillen, Co Fermanagh, and to Lough Neagh. Other possibilities are Greenways running from Donegal to Derry; from Louth to Down, and from Monaghan and Cavan to Armagh and Tyrone.

Joan Scales
Award-winning journalist, Joan has been writing about travel and tourism for many years principally for The Irish Times and lately for travel2ireland. Joan has appeared many times on television and radio talking about the business of travel and all its component strands. She is also a public speaker and has appeared at many international conventions and conferences.

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