Boost for Offaly Grand Canal and river Shannon projects

Ger Scully

Reporter:

Ger Scully

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editor@tullamoretribune.ie

TT2914GS

The Grand Canal at Ballycommon

FUNDING to the tune of €155,000 has been allocated to Offaly greenway projects along the Grand Canal at Ballycommon and on the Shannon at Shannonbridge.

A feasibility study and environmental screenings for a key regional greenway 26 km link from the Grand Canal greenway at Ballycommon (Tulare) to the Old Rail Trail greenway and the Dublin-Galway Eurovelo route has been allocated €60,000.

A total of €95,000 has been provided for feasibility, consultation, route selection, design and environmental screenings for the 28km Shannon monastic greenway from Shannonbridge to Athlone.

The projects are supported by the Just Transition Fund along with other ventures in Longford and Roscommon.

The allocations follow the recommendation in Kieran Mulvey’s report for greater co-operation between local authorities in the area.

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In total €4.5 million has been allocated for 26 greenway projects throughout the country under the  Carbon Tax Fund 2020.

Welcoming the funding, Orla Carroll, Director of Product Development at Fáilte Ireland said it was a “timely boost for tourism and the development of world class greenway experiences in Ireland. Fáilte Ireland is extremely pleased to have worked closely with the Department on developing the projects.  It is critical we invest in the future of walking and cycling for the economic and social wellbeing of our communities and visitors. This funding will complete the feasibility and planning stages of greenway development, therefore ensuring a pipeline of fantastic future projects are ready to be developed when further funding is secured. We are delighted to support the department with this announcement and look forward to engaging with the development of these projects into the future.”

Laois/ Offaly T.D, Charles Flanagan said the greenways play an important role in supporting local communities to create jobs and brings visitors to our area.

“As we have seen over the course of the lockdown, people are eager to get out into nature and avail of the stunning scenery in our country,” he pointed out.

Continued Deputy Flanagan: “This funding will support the Greenways Strategy and help local authorities around the country prepare greenway projects to be ready for construction funding in the coming years.”

He added that the developments will encourage tourism in the future, and will also provide a safe, segregated space for people walking and cycling.