Longford-Westmeath TD, Gabrielle McFadden, says that the new Athlone to Mullingar Greenway is a wonderful asset for the Midlands, opening up the region to more visitors and boosting local economies.
Securing the initial funding of €4million last year to help drive the project was one of Deputy McFadden’s first actions as a TD: “I am very proud to see the project now coming to fruition,” Deputy McFadden said. “Since I was elected on Westmeath County Council and subsequently to Dáil Eireann, I have consistently highlighted the importance of selling this region on the strength of our natural attractions.
“This Greenway will undoubtedly open up this region to more tourists and have spin-offs for local economies.” Deputy McFadden said she was initially introduced to the Greenway concept in Westport, where it has proven to be a success from a tourism and economic point of view. It was this that convinced the Deputy that such an amenity could revitalise the towns and villages of the Midlands.
“This also led me to marvel at the success of the Destination Westport initiative and the successful Destination Athlone that we now have grew out of a plan I had for the town, which I started when I was mayor in 2013,” she said. The Midlands Greenway, which is already proving popular, will undoubtedly enhance the Destination Athlone concept, which is aimed at exploring ways for Athlone to develop into the best town to visit, live and do business in.
“I was delighted that the Taoiseach could come to officially unveil the Greenway. He is an avid cyclist and had no problem when I invited him to open it. I would also like to pay tribute to all the stakeholders involved in the Midlands Greenway project, not least Westmeath County Council and Moate Action Group which ensured a very successful launch.”