Rural Affairs Minister Michael Ring joins children at the opening of the Royal Canal Greenway last Thursday
Longford is on the up, Longford has turned the corner and Longford is very much open for business.
Those were just some of the choice depictions used by national and local politicians earlier today for the official launch of the Royal Canal Greenway.
Rural Affairs Minister Michael Ring conducted the formalities at Mosstown Harbour in Kenagh as part of an overall project aimed at linking Dublin to Clondra.
Mr Ring complemented the part played by Longford County Council in bringing the project, jointly funded by the Department of Rural and Community Development as well as Transport, to fruition.
The 6km stretch of greenway was built by Longford County Council using €525,000 allocated by Minister Ring through his Department’s Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme.
"We all know outdoor activity is the way forward," he told those in attendance.
"It's great to see so many children and so many adults of all ages enjoying facilities like this all over the country.
"What will happen from this development here today is you will see businesses popping up, you will see people employed and you will see jobs created."
The afternoon was accompanied with OPW Minister Kevin 'Boxer' Moran's announcement to allow free admission for disabled visitors and their carers to heritage sites within his department's portfolio.
That disclosure came at Corlea Trackway Visitor Centre shortly afterwards with Mr Moran confirming the policy would take effect from May 1.
"The OPW is entrusted with looking after wonderful heritage sites and I feel passionately that everyone should be able to enjoy these cultural assets on our doorstep," he said.
There were contributions too from Longford County Council CEO Paddy Mahon and Cathaoirleach Cllr Martin Mulleady, both of whom spoke fervently of the recent economic positivity the county was experiencing.
"Longford, as I have said from day one, is open for business," said Cllr Mulleady, as he reserved special praise for Longford County Council's "outstanding" executive.
"There has been an awful lot of good things that have happened in Longford over the past fortnight.
"We got negative publicity, we took it and we came out fighting. That's what we are at.
“It's about time Longford people stood up for their county and were positive going forward because that is what this county needs."