Cork County Council gets €60,000 for West Cork Greenway

Westport to Achill Greenway now contributing €1m to local economy annually signalling good news for tourism in West Cork

Fine Gael Cork South West Deputy, Jim Daly, has said the provision of €60,000 in total for the development of a cycle greenway from Cork to Kinsale is great news for the area in terms of tourism in the area and the knock-on benefits for local business.

“The development of the Westport to Achill Greenway a number of years ago has acted as a blueprint for what can be achieved right across the country. In most instances, cycle greenways are being developed on disused railway lines and the situation for West Cork is no different.

“A total of €60,000 is being made available to Cork County Council for the West Cork Abandoned Rail Lines Greenway, made up of €30,000 for the Cork to Kinsale section and €30,000 for the Ballinascarthy to Courtmacsherry Section. These grants will be used for planning and development of the greenway which should act as a huge draw for tourism in the area.

“The Cork to Kinsale section of the greenway represents the first phase in the opening up of the abandoned lines of the Cork Bandon and South Coast Railway, which stretches to an impressive 188km. This expanse of rail line, if fully developed, is being touted as having the long-term potential to become Ireland’s premier off-road cycling destination.

“The Cork to Kinsale section is 36km long and will be developed as a dedicated off-road cycle and walking route. The Greenway will incorporate the Chetwynd and Halfway Viaducts and Ireland’s longest railway tunnel at Ballinhassig, which will act as visitor attractions in their own right. The funding for this project will be used for specialist engineering input so that the structural stability of these landmarks can be determined and recommendations for made on how best to adapt them for use as part of the proposed route.

“Where the Ballinascarthy to Courtmacsherry section is concerned, this proposed cycleway will be 14km in length and will be predominantly off-road. A 4.5km of the route, from Timoleague to Courtmascherry, has already been developed as a result of active community groups in the area.

“The Government has been looking for the best ways to take advantage of the spectacular scenery which Ireland has to offer and has been making funds available to allow us to capitalise on our natural beauty. With the value for money that can now be found in Ireland, people are more open to holidaying at home than ever before. Greenways such as these will help to give West Cork the edge over other areas and encourage tourist to pay us a visit, which means good news for hotels, restaurants and local businesses in the area.