A delay in planning an 8km section of the Royal Canal Greenway means that the 130km Dublin to Athlone Greenway will likely not be finished until 2021 at the earliest.
In 2012 then transport minister Leo Varadkar said the coast-to-coast Dublin to Galway greenway would be open by 2020. By 2015, when opposition grew to compulsory purchasing land in County Galway, then transport Minister Paschal Donohoe paused the route west of the Shannon.
Priority was given to the Dublin to Athlone section of the route — this included the disused railway between Athlone and Longford and the Royal Canal Greenway between Longford and Dublin.
However, yesterday it was confirmed that one section of the canal greenway in the Fingal County Council area won’t be even going to the planning permission stage until 2020 — with tendering and construction this could mean the route might not be open until 2021 or later, which is after the original opening year for the full Dublin to Galway route.
Local councillor Roderic O’Gorman (Green Party) said he was disappointed with the delay on Twitter he said he “will put in a motion for next meeting to get clarity on the reason for delay.”
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Here’s Cllr O’Gorman’s question to and answer from council officials on the timetable for the council’s section of the route:
Sections of the Royal Canal Greenway in the Dublin City Council area have planning permission but has also been delayed by various reasons including permissions from Waterways Ireland and railway safety authorities where the route crosses a railway.