Minister to hold Greenway talks

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Paschal Donohoe TD will visit Longford to hold talks over plans to extend the Great Western Greenway. Photo: Sean Curtin Fusionshooters..
Tourism Minister Paschal Donohoe will be in Longford tomorrow to hold talks over plans to extend the Great Western Greenway.

Tourism Minister Paschal Donohoe will be in Longford tomorrow to hold talks over plans to extend the Great Western Greenway.

The Dublin Central TD is expected to open discussions with local tourism chiefs about the idea at Corlea’s Trackway Visitor Centre.

Tourism Committee Chairperson and Fine Gael County Councillor Micheal Carrigy said the 42km route offered huge potential for counties like Longford.

“Our aim is to get a national route designation along the Canal from Mullingar,” he said.

At just over 40km, the Great Western Greenway is the longest off-road walking and cycling trail in Ireland.

Cllr Carrigy claimed the project, if approved, would establish an off road route, linking Dublin to Achill Island.

He said should that new route include the Royal Canal, the tourism possibilities open to Longford were endless.

“Last year, the Greenway had somewhere in the region of 300,000 visitors,” he claimed.

“If we (Longford) can get half of that, the benefits would be massive.”

Cllr Carrigy said the Greenway venture was just the latest step in a series of undertakings being speareheaded by Longford’s County Tourism Committee.

In April, Minister of State Micheal Ring, visited Longford to unveil the Camlin Shannon Blueway.

That followed the Royal Blueway, a 16km off-road route from Clondra to Longford town.

It’s hoped the Greenway project, subject to funding, could provide the latest addition to Longford’s rapidly expanding network of cycling and walking trails.