There was good news for the north Mayo area with the announcement yesterday of an allocation of €250,000 seed money to begin construction on a 14 km greenway from Ballina to Killala along the River Moy. The greenway will incorporate an off road cycle track and walk and will incorporate a number of monasteries along the river. It is envisioned that this 14km stretch will be the first phase of a multi-phase greenway in the larger north Mayo area.
Welcoming the news Fine Gael, Ballina based TD, Michelle Mulherin, said: “I am absolutely delighted that we are going to get a greenway in north Mayo. Since my election to Dáil Éireann, I have been working continuously to secure funding for this project, which began with Minister for OPW, Brian Hayes, in whose charge most of the monasteries are, coming to Ballina to see and hear of our plans and giving the thumbs up. Following that I arranged a meeting with officials in the Department of Tourism, Failte Ireland, the local management of Mayo County Council, members of Mayo North Tourism Committee, and Minister of State Michael Ring. We subsequently secured €40,000, funding for a feasibility study undertaken by the council. I appraised the Taoiseach of our plans and he was very supportive. I subsequently met with Minister Varadkar and then brought him to Ballina one month ago to press the case for funding and today I received confirmation of this wonderful news.”
She went on to say: “This funding will allow the commencement of construction of phase one and plans are already afoot to secure LEADER funding to continue the greenway. The proposed greenway will connect ancient abbeys and religious sites along the west bank of the River Moy, from the Augustinian Abbey through Belleek forest in Ballina through Rosserk and Moyne abbeys towards Killala's round tower and Rathfran, and is one of a number of tourism initiatives that have the potential to attract large numbers of tourists to the Moy Valley region and north Mayo.
This funding announcement comes soon after the recent allocation of €640,000, funding to the Discovery Point at Downpatrick Head and the opening of the Wild Atlantic Way.”
Deputy Mulherin concluded: "It must be acknowledged that landowners are pivotal to the success of the project. The first phase will be constructed on public lands and after that, some rights of way will be required from landowners. I know the council has been engaging on the ground already and I want to thank farmers who have signed up to date and I look forward to any outstanding issues being resolved to the satisfaction of all.”