Two greenway projects have been funded under the National Cycle Network scheme — what the Department of Transport describes as the “Ring of Kerry Greenway” from Glenbeigh to Cahirciveen in Co Kerry and part of the Deise Greenway in Waterford running from Clonea along the coast to Durrow.
Kerry County Council are to construct the 26km Glenbeigh to Cahirciveen Greenway (Phases 2 and 3), which has been allocated €3,458,281.
Phase 2 includes Caherciveen to Golden Mile and will run along the Great Southern and Western Railway Company’s disused Great Southern Railway. While phase 3 from Golden Mile to Glenbeigh runs along the Ring of Kerry.
The Department of Transport says the project will be “one of the world’s most dramatically scenic greenways”.
Meanwhile, Waterford County Council received €897,739 for the 7.2km Clonea section of greenway, which forms part of the Deise Greenway from Dungarvan to Waterford City. This is also being developed along a disused railway corridor.
Referring to the Kerry greenway, junior minister Alan Kelly said: “The natural beauty combined with the history of the old railway tunnels and the viaduct will make this one of the most beautiful cycling holiday destinations in the world. We estimate it will bring in the region of 30 jobs during construction and will contribute as much as 70 jobs to the local economy over time. It is hugely positive news and I’m delighted as Minister to be able to do this.”
He added: “It will be constructed over the next two years and follows our experience of the Great Western Greenway in Mayo. An economic assessment carried out on the Mayo project estimated that about 40 jobs were created, with another 50 retained in the local economy as a result of investing in the greenway. I expect similar progress to happen in Kerry.”