Construction on a walking and cycling route between Ballina and Killala in Co Mayo is now partly-funded enough to allow it to start at both ends.
The route is dubbed the Monasteries of the Moy because it is planned to run close to Moyne Abbey and Rosserk Abbey on the south bank of the river Moy.
Work recently started on the €250,000 Ballian section of the route around the town’s Belleek Woods (pictured above), and, this week, nearly €350,000 in ‘Leader’ rural development funding was confirmed for the start of the route on the Killala end.
The Killala section will bring that end of the route from the village to the area around Moyne Abbey, while the Ballina section will mostly include upgrading current paths in Belleek Woods and construction of a short section of new path toward the town centre.
As with many greenway projects across the country, Mayo County Council has had to content with progressing the walking and cycling route while not having the funding to complete the full project.
The route will use “permissive access” to cross private land with the consent of farmers and other landowners, and it will also use State-owned land, including the Coillte-owned Belleek Woods.
The project is eventually due to be part of a network of greenways in Co Mayo which will link Castlebar, Ballina, Westport, Foxford and smaller towns and villages. The county currently has the best-known greenway in Ireland, the 42km Great Western Greenway between Westport and Achill.
An 8km greenway from Castlebar to the National Museum of Country Life at Turlough is also due to soon officially open.