Center Parcs in Longford could prove to a hit on the Dublin Galway Greenway

According to reports today, Center Parcs are finalising a deal to develop a forestry village resort in Ballymahon, County Longford with 600 jobs in the construction stage and a potential of 500 jobs when in operation. Center Parcs is in talks with Coillte over a site at Newcastle Woods, Co. Longford, near the River Inny and the Royal Canal.  Center Parcs resorts, which are Dutch-style forest holiday villages, already have five UK resorts and British staycationers love them. According to the Irish Independent, the resort experiences are centered on activities - ranging from kayaking and raft-building to high ropes courses, bike hire, paintball, archery, adventure golf, tennis and more. There will also be a Subtropical Swimming Paradise set at the heart of the complex. The recent announcement by the Longford County Council to develop the Royal Canal cycle and walkway (Royal Canal Greenway) to the Westmeath border now looks like a very sensible decision. It will mean that

200,000 Euro allocated for the Royal Canal Greenway in Fingal County Council (FCC) Programme of Works 2015

200,000 Euro for the Royal Canal Greenway has been allocated by the National Transport Authority (NTA) and Fingal County Council (FCC) in their Programme of Works 2015. The spending allocation has been allocated for the: o Finalisation of the design, planning and preparation of tender documents for this section of the Royal Canal Route from Phibsboro to Ashtown – €100,000 o Planning and design of cycle route on Royal Canal towpath, from 12th Lock to the county boundary with Kildare (including ‘deep sinking’ section) – €100,000 In particular the planning and design will focus on a section called the "Deep Sinking"  where there is a significant grade difference between the towpaths and water surface of the canal. In a previous report by Fingal County Council an option included the construction a cantilevered boardwalk type facility. The height of the boardwalk would be high above the canal in some parts and w hen completed a boardwalk style canal path could prov

Waterways Ireland encourages new business to set up along Blueways

At a Longford Tourism event last night (24th Mar 2015), Waterways Ireland and Longford Tourism urged entrepreneurs and businesses in Longford to develop new enterprises along the Shannon Camlin Blueway. A 10 kilometre looped trail of the Shannon and Camlin River, is to be opened next month which it’s hoped will be a focal point for boating, canoeing or other outdoor pursuits. Details were also presented of a 3 day Blueway festival that will be held in Clondra from April 24th to 26th. The Camlin is complemented by the Royal Blueway, a 16 kilometre stretch of off-road walking and cycling route, from Clondra to Longford town. At the event, Michael Carrigy from Longford Tourism and Eanna Rowe from Waterways Ireland outlined the plan to connect the royal canal cycle way all the way from Clondra/Longford town to the Westmeath border. It was highlighted that this would complete provide a significant spur off the planned Dublin Galway greenway. When combined with the section lin

Longford Council and Waterways Ireland present ambitious plan for Royal Canal

At a recent meeting on local tourism in Longford, Waterways Ireland and Longford County Council presented an ambitious plan for trails in County Longford. The meeting on the 24 th  Feburary at Corlea Trackway Visitor Centre was organised by Longford Tourism and was attended by various local people. Eanna Rowe from Waterways Ireland present their vision for connecting the waterways and walking routes into a series of connected trails labelled as BlueWays. In a futher development, Longford council has just issued proposals to undertake the provision of a shared pedestrian and cycle track along the Royal Canal towpath from Cloonsheerin Bridge in the Townland of Cloonsheerin (i.e. completing the link from Longford to Abbeyshrule). The development will consist of improvements to the towpath along the Royal Canal to provide a shared pedestrian and cycle path and plans and particulars of the proposed development are now available When completed this route would join to the Dublin Ga

DUBLIN CITY COUNCIL has announced plans for Dublin section of Dublin Galway greenway

DUBLIN CITY COUNCIL has announced plans to build a cycle path along the Royal Canal in Dublin. The project includes a cycle and pedestrian route along the Royal Canal from Sheriff Street Upper to Ashtown. The 7.5 km route has been divided into three phases and the work is expected to cost between €10-12 million. The plans are part of the Royal Canal Greenway project which includes a fourth, already constructed, 400m link which runs along Guild Street from North Wall Quay to Sheriff Street Upper. Once finished the path will complete Dublin’s section of the national cycle route from Dublin to Galway – which will be used in the  EuroVelo Route 2 .

Minister cautions "Field of Dreams" approach to Greenways

The latest comments from the  Minister of Transport and Tourism  Paschal Donohoe provide some insight into the new ministers view of national greenways. While his comments will be welcome be some it may disappoint many looking for a coordinated strategic plan from central government on a connected set of greenways in Ireland. The minister appears to be opening up a debate on whether there should be dedicated funding streams for greenways regardless of their viability. He seems to believe that there is an expectation building that his department will be funding greenways in every "highway and byway" in Ireland. According to Ministor Donohoe, the government has awarded €6.3m under the National Cycle Network Funding Programme 2014-2016 to three local authorities for the delivery of greenways following a competitive process. However, he appears to throw cold water on other schemes that may not be viable and cautions local communities and local authorities on a "

Royal Canal featured in Irish Time's Ten great walking weekends

Great articles from  Manchán Magan in the Irish Times The Royal Canal  Following this mercurial strip of silver, silky water that runs from Dublin through Kildare and Westmeath to Longford is like stepping back into Ireland of 200 years ago. The 144km journey from Croke Park to Clondra, where the Royal Canal meets the Shannon, takes three days to cover, mostly on gravel or tarmac towpaths. Though the stretch around Dublin is grim, the rest is tranquil, unspoilt countryside with perfect relics of late 18th-century industrial architecture.

Offaly greenway could link to the Dublin Galway greenway

According to reports from the , Offaly County Council has announced proposals for a walking and cycling path along the Grand Canal from the county boundary in the east to Shannon Harbour in the west and a plan to link in with the Dublin to Galway greenway. A planning application for the first phase, running from Tullamore to Lough Boora Discovery Park, is expected to go out for public consultation in February with works due to begin in June if there are no hold-ups. While the cost has not been announced, it's hoped the local authority will be in a position to access national funding next year if the project is 'shovel ready'. A series of public meetings on the 'Greenways Strategy', which includes further pathways and plans to link in with the Dublin to Galway route, will be held next month in Tullamore, Birr, Lough Boora and Edenderry. Chief Executive of Waterways Ireland Dawn Livingstone, who attended the council's monthly meet

Longford hoping to be strategically placed to benefit from a Coast to Coast greenway

Reports in the tells how members of the Longford County Council heard from local tourism leaders that Longford will be uniquely positioned to benefit from an increased level of tourism from greenways and blueways. Seadna Ryan told members the work that had been done throughout the county with regard to walkways, cycle routes and water activities, would ensure that Longford would become a major attraction for tourists in the years ahead.  Mr Ryan went on to tell local authority members that the Royal Canal Greenway went from Dublin to Clondra and that Clondra had also been included in the Shannon Blueway project. “This means that Longford is providing a very unique tourism product; if we copy cat we will not survive, but if we are distinct we will,” Mr Ryan continued. Longford is ideally placed to benefit from the proposed Dublin Galway greenway as its strategically positioned on a location between the proposed Dublin Galway greenway and the Mayo greenway an

Farmers voice their concerns on the proposed route of the Dublin Galway Greenway

The Connacht Tribune reported last week on a meeting of farmers which discussed the Galway to Dublin greenway. The newspaper said that Galway IFA Chairman stated that there would be absolutely no cooperation from farmers for this project until the word CPO (compulsory purchase order) was taken off the agenda. “[CPOs have] involved ESB lines, gas pipeways and new roads but to destroy a commercial farm for a walkway is just something that farmers will not accept. This is not critical infrastructure and there are alternatives available,” said Pat Murphy, Galway IFA Chairman. The Connacht Tribune also reported  that the Galway/Mayo IFA regional officer Roy O’Brien said: “It is quite simply, totally unacceptable that farmers could face into a situation where their lands could be dissected with this Greenway route. This would put some farmers out of business – an alternative route must be sourced, most probably along the side of the old N6 Galway to Dublin road.” The