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Greenway roundup: Crossborder Sligo-Enniskillen greenway progresses, railway reopening derails Limerick greenway city link

Greenway news roundup: There’s news this week that greenway plans are progressing for counties Leitrim, Sligo, Cavan, Fermanagh, Tipperary, Westmeath, and Offaly, while the Limerick Greenway has seen a setback.

A 70km cross-border Sligo, Leitrim, Northern Counties Railway (SLNCR) Greenway is planned to link Enniskillen to Sligo. Named after the former railway of the same name, the project has progressed to its first public consultation phase, with details available at slncr-greenway.com.

The project is being run by Leitrim County Council, in partnership with Sligo County Council, Cavan County Council, Fermanagh and Omagh District Council, Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) in the Republic and Department for Infrastructure (DfI) in Northern Ireland.

The Limerick Greenway has been linked into Co Kerry, but it will be some time before it’s linked to Limerick City as the reopening of the Foynes railway line took council officials by surprise, according to the Limerick Leader newspaper. Irish Rail is already progressing with works including laying new ballast bed to modern standards, new rail, and new concrete sleepers along the entire route.

The 40km Limerick Greenway currently runs from Rathkeale to Abbeyfeale on the border with Kerry before linking to Listowel via the 16km Kingdom of Kerry Greenway — the two greenways are effectively a 56km cross-county greenway.

Rathkeale is however around 30km from Limerick City and the hope of running the greenway along the railway is now gone and it’s back to the drawing board. The Rathkeale is effectively on a branch a few KMs off the line from Foynes to Limerick. It’s unclear what other route options might be looked at, officials said a route beside the railway line would be possibly more difficult than alternatives.

Meanwhile, the Limerick Leader reports that a 2.5km section of the Limerick Greenway will be closed between Barnagh and Templeglantine from January 9 to Monday, February 13 to facilitate the construction of two cattle underpasses.

The Westmeath Examiner reports that Westmeath County Council has tendered for consultants for a Kilbggan to Mullingar greenway route. It seems that the route from Kilbggan would link to the Old Rail Trail and onto Mullingar. At Kilbeggan it would link to the Kilbggan Branch Grand Cana Greenway which is being developed with Offaly County Council and which will eventually link onto the Grand Canal Greenway — creating a loop of the canals between the midlands and Dublin.

Finally, Tipperary County Council is progressing the 24km Lough Derg Greenway between Dromineer and Ballina in Tipperary. It just finished its second non-statutory public consultation on the route corridor options for the project.

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