Min. Alan Kelly turned the sod on the South Kerry Greenway in Cahirciveen today, with Cathaoirleach John Brassil pic.twitter.com/XRdmpw62LK
— Kerry County Council (@countykerry) June 20, 2014
Turning the sod on a section of the South Kerry Greenway on Friday, junior transport minister Alan Kelly, told Radio Kerry that former railway lands will be signed over to the council.
The move will allow for the completion of another section of Kerry greenway, known as the Tralee to Fenit Greenway, and also an extension of the Great Southern Trail into Kerry.
The railway lands are currently held by Irish Rail’s parent company, CIE. The junior minister confirmed on Friday that there is agreement to sign the land over to Kerry County Council.
Regarding the turning of the sod on the South Kerry Greenway in Cahirciveen, the Department of Transport said that the South Kerry Greenway is estimated to create 90 full time jobs to the region due to increased tourism activity. The route includes tunnels and viaducts.
A statement from the department said: “Construction is set to start in the coming months on phase one of this project – the section linking Cahirciveen to Reenard – as funded under the Government’s stimulus measures announced last May. This section of the greenway, known as the Fertha greenway, will link Reenard point with Valentia Island, where a ferry links the mainland with Valentia Island creating an innovative loop involving the Fertha greenway as well as the Valentia and Cahiciveen marinas. It will run for 5.75 kilometres with 1.75 kilometres being on road.”
Minister Kelly said: “I see this greenway featuring on Lonely Planet’s best things to do in time. It is truly iconic and I have no doubt it will bring cyclists to the Ring of Kerry from all over Europe. As Minister, I have granted €3.9million towards the project, but that will easily pay for itself in time by generating substantial revenue and 90 full-time jobs for the area – that’s the equivalent of a small industry,”
He added: “Cycling and cycling tourism are taking off immeasurably. You only have to see the experience of the greenway in Mayo where cyclists and families from all over Ireland come to cycle the greenway. Once complete in 2016, I have no doubt that the South Kerry greenway will be considered one of the top cycling tourism attractions in the world.”