By 2018, it will be possible to cycle from Dublin to Athlone almost entirely off-road

Minister Ross was at the opening of the Garrycastle to Whitegates National Cycle Network in Athlone on Friday 7th April.

Major Funding for the Dublin Galway Greenway

Supporters of the Dublin Galway Greenway project received excellent news when funding was announced to complete major sections of the route

2016 start for work on the Meath Kildare section of Greenway

According to Dail records the Minister expects that work will commence on the Meath and Kildare sections of the greenway in 2016.

Plans to Complete the Royal Canal Greenway in Longford

Longford County Council have issued proposals to complete the royal canal greenway connecting to the Dublin Galway Greenway.

Friday, October 30, 2015

What the papers are saying about the Dublin Galway Greenway impasse




Today was a significant (and disappointing) day for the Dublin Galway greenway. The Minister has decided to pause the Galway/Roscommon section of the Dublin Galway Greenway and instead focus the funding on the Kildare/Meath section.

The Irish Independent reported that the "Plan for cycle route from Dublin to Galway halted by landowners' objections"

Similarly, the Irish Time reported that "Objections put brakes on cycleway from Dublin to Galway".

More locally, the Galway press (Connacht Tribune) reported even though the project is stalled that "East Galway farmers remain concerned despite shelving of greenway"

Meanwhile, on a more conciliatory approach, the Shannonside newsroom reports about Denis Naughten has tried to keep discussions open when reporting that the "Roscommon TD says delay in agreement on cycleway route lies on Galway side".


Galway to lose out on Greenway Funding due to Opposition


Opposition by Galway farmers has forced the Minister of Transport and Tourism, Pascal O'Donoghue, to put plans on hold for the Dublin Galway greenway in East Galway. Reports today in several news sources have confirmed our previous reports that large scale opposition from landowners in Galway has forced the Minister to rethink the project,

The minister has decided to allocate funding to other sections of the Dublin Galway greenway.  Kildare and Meath look set to benefit from this decision. Planning permission is in place for the Royal Canal greenway in Meath and Kildare. The plan is to connect the Royal Canal greenway in Westmeath all the way to Maynooth. Just last week, Westmeath County Council officially opened the Athlone Mullingar (old rail trail), Huge crowds are already using this excellent greenway.

In other connected developments, Longford Council apparently have plans to extend the Royal Canal greenway all the way to the Shannon at Clondra and also are about to put signage up on a fantastic lake side trail along the shores of Lough Ree back into Athlone. With Minister O'Donoghue allocating immediate funds for the Kildare /Meath end of the royal canal we will hopefully see hoards of cyclists arriving into the midlands region. A multi day cycle loop of the Royal Canal/Lough Ree and Old Rail Trail will be very appealing to these visitors

It's possible that the Galway farmers are celebrating today and we have always argued that they have a right to be properly consulted about this project. It is a real pity that common sense didnt come to bear in recent days. In the longer term these farmers' communities may be the biggest losers as they miss out on millions of Euro in tourism spending from these greenway routes,

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Crunch time for the Dublin Galway Greenway?


According to reports in recent days in the Connacht Tribune, the Dublin Galway greenway project may be either terminally dead or seriously wounded. Apparently, a report into the recent consultation with landowners has been handed to the Minister. The report appears to say that 63% of galway farmers are opposed to the project in it's current plan.

This is a major set back for the project and hopefully this is not the end of the ambitious plan. It comes at particularly time when optimism is high with the opening of the Mullingar to Athlone greenway. It is claimed that rural communities could benefit enormously from tourism traffic that otherwise bypasses these areas. Some communities are even seeing greenways as one way for rural communities to fight back against a backdrop of rural decline.

While some politicians such as Denis Naughten are trying to keep the dialogue open with the Minister on alternative route options, it is hard to see how the project can proceed under such uncertainties. There are dozens of other councils and organisations that are seeking funding from the Minister's department for greenway routes. And many of these funding requests have significant local consent. It would be no surprise if the Minister decides to scrap the Galway section of the Dublin Galway greenway and divert the funding elsewhere on other routes  to get to the west coast of Ireland (such as the Longford to Westport greenway or Sligo to Galway Greenway).

We hope that imagination, compromise and diplomacy could be introduced now into this debate. The current plan sounds like a classic example of a naive approach and the goodwill required from the farming sector is damaged.  The right leader here could make a difference - someone respected by the farmers as one of their own but also promoting the greenway. Anyone out there? Cycling Enda?

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Celebrating the Opening of the Athlone to Mullingar Greenway

To celebrate the opening (Sunday 18th Oct) of the Athlone to Mullingar Greenway tomorrow, the latest section of the Dublin Galway Greenway, we are showcasing some amazing video footage of Moate station. Footage courtesy of Briain Smyth on Youtube. Enjoy

And for a reminder of the before and after, here's a video of the "before". Well done to all the volunteers and to Westmeath council for such amazing work. Here's to a very successful greenway!!


Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Dublin City Council moves a step closer to the Royal Canal Premium Cycle Route




Dublin City Council have moved a step closer to the construction of the Royal Canal Premium Cycle Route - Phase 2 by issuing a tender for a Ground Investigation Contract. The tender, that has appeared on mytenders.ie, is for the provision of  ground investigation work, ground investigation services and site-investigation services.

This cycle route will complete the capital’s section of the proposed national cycle route from Dublin to Galway, which will be Ireland’s contribution to the EuroVelo Route 2 extending across Europe to Russia.

In Dublin city a section of just 350m from Guild Street to Sheriff Street where the canal meets the Liffey, has been completed, and in Fingal a 2km section from Ashtown to the 12th lock in Castleknock opened last year.

The new 7km path will bridge the gap between these two sections. The two-way path will start on the left bank of the canal at Sheriff Street lifting bridge and will stay on this side until just after Binns Bridge in Drumcondra, at the junction of Whitworth Road and Dorset Street, where a new bridge will be built to take cyclists to the other side of the canal.

This is a real welcome move especially at a time when the latest section of the Dublin Galway greenway is due to be officially in Westmeath this coming Saturday.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

What does Sean Connery and the New Mullingar to Athlone cyclway have in common?


Ireland's latest world-class greenway (Athlone to Mullingar) is on a disused railway line that last saw serious action as a location for a movie starring 007 legend Sean Connery - 1979's The Great Train Robbery. 



According to reports in the Irish Independent by journalist Claire Mc Cormack, four decades after the collapse of rail services between Mullingar, Moate and Athlone, the historic corridor has been reconnected by a new bicycle track - 40km long and three metres wide

Next weekend the Taoiseach will be on hand to open the next phase of the Dublin to Galway cycleway. Enda Kenny will be in Westmeath to open the new 40 km cycleway that will once again connect the midland towns of Athone and Mullingar.

Apparently, the new route, which is open already to the public, is already attracting a large interest from local users. According to the reports Barry Kehoe, director of services for transport and economic development at Westmeath County Council, said the project has captured local imagination with some already sampling the route.
"People who haven't ridden a bike for 40 years are getting back on the saddle. They're using it all hours of the day, even into the darkness of the winter evenings we're seeing lights on it," he said.
In the report, it was notable that Mr Kehoe wanted to clarify that the route was intentional built to attract families and more leisurely cyclists and walkers and is not for cyclist clubs that may want to travel in group on fast road bikes. Mr Kehoe said that "It's entirely for families and we have communicated with the various cycling clubs that it is not suitable for groups. They travel too fast and take up too much space and would be intimidating for family users". 
We are looking forward to the official opening which is due to take place on Sunday October 18th.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Shackleton’s Gardens in Clonsilla to become major tourism attraction on the Dublin Galway Greenway


According to the Dublin Gazette  the historic Shackleton’s Gardens in Clonsilla could potentially become a major tourist attraction on the Dublin Galway Greenway,

There is a plan by Fingal Council to take ownership of Shackleton’s Gardens in Clonsilla in the coming weeks with a €415,000 redevelopment plan to start soon after. The gardens, behind Clonsilla train station and on the banks of the Royal canal, were once ranked among the top four gardens for herbaceous borders in Britain and Ireland. The gardens contain a wide range of rare and exotic plants collected from all over the world by the famous adventurer but in recent years they have fallen into disrepair,

It is hope that the gardens will be an important tourist stop along the Royal Canal which is now being upgraded as a greenway linking Dublin to the Shannon and on to Galway.