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Longest Greenway in Ireland to officially open Saturday

24th March 2017
Pictured on the Waterford Greenway ahead of the official opening of the longest off-road walking and cycling experience in Ireland is Mayor of Waterford, Cllr Adam Wyse along with Joshua Moran-Davy (10), Leah Moran-Saunders (5) and Reuben Moran-Davy (7) from Passage East, Co Waterford Pictured on the Waterford Greenway ahead of the official opening of the longest off-road walking and cycling experience in Ireland is Mayor of Waterford, Cllr Adam Wyse along with Joshua Moran-Davy (10), Leah Moran-Saunders (5) and Reuben Moran-Davy (7) from Passage East, Co Waterford

Waterford Greenway, the longest off-road walking and cycling experience in Ireland, is to officially open tomorrow, Saturday (March 25). The eagerly awaited €15 million project stretches 46km from Waterford City to Dungarvan along the former Great Southern and Western Railway line.

The major tourism initiative now features in the Atlantic Coast Route of EuroVelo, a long distance cycling network connecting Europe. It is also part of Fáilte Ireland’s Ancient East experience.

The official opening of the Greenway will take place at the old Kilmacthomas Station House, the half-way mark on the dedicated walking and cycling path. Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government, Simon Coveney TD will attend the ribbon cutting ceremony. Multiple family-friendly events will also take place on Saturday at Waterford Institute of Technology’s West Campus, the Dungarvan Causeway and Kilmacthomas village.

Speaking ahead of the launch, Mayor of Waterford, Cllr Adam Wyse outlined: “It is fitting that the Waterford Greenway officially opens on March 25th, exactly 50 years after the last passenger train travelled along the old railway line between Dungarvan and Waterford. The Waterford Greenway is steeped in history and natural heritage, and I’m delighted to see it now re-imagined into an amenity that will continue to give great enjoyment to the people of Waterford and visitors to this great county well into the future.”

The Waterford Greenway was developed by Waterford City and County Council with the co-operation of local property owners and communities along the route, and supporting funding from the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport.

Also attending the official opening will be Chief Executive of Sport Ireland, Olympic silver medallist and Waterford native, John Treacy, who said: “Participation in sport and physical activity across all ages and backgrounds is vitally important. Having a world-class facility like the Greenway, with its beautiful vista and fantastic amenities, will encourage and provide opportunities to people of all ages, the length and breadth of Waterford, to get out and get active.

“I am also delighted that Waterford Greenway will be the 900th trail listed on the National Trails Register, which is managed by Sport Ireland.”

The route features 11 bridges, three viaducts and a 400-metre tunnel and takes in Waterford City, Mount Congreve, Kilmeaden, Kilmacthomas, Shanacool, Scartore and Dungarvan.

Saturday’s celebrations between 12pm and 4pm include a Viking Village and live music at WIT West Campus, while at Kilmacthomas village, revellers are invited to step back in time with a vintage car display and traditional Fair Day Mart. At the Dungarvan Causeway, there will be fairground rides, live music, juggling and stilt walking. There will also be free walks and talks throughout the afternoon, along with railway heritage exhibitions at Waterford County Museum in Dungarvan, and Kilmacthomas Library.

Published in Coastal Notes

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Coastal Notes Coastal Notes covers a broad spectrum of stories, events and developments in which some can be quirky and local in nature, while other stories are of national importance and are on-going, but whatever they are about, they need to be told.

Stories can be diverse and they can be influential, albeit some are more subtle than others in nature, while other events can be immediately felt. No more so felt, is firstly to those living along the coastal rim and rural isolated communities. Here the impact poses is increased to those directly linked with the sea, where daily lives are made from earning an income ashore and within coastal waters.

The topics in Coastal Notes can also be about the rare finding of sea-life creatures, a historic shipwreck lost to the passage of time and which has yet many a secret to tell. A trawler's net caught hauling more than fish but cannon balls dating to the Napoleonic era.

Also focusing the attention of Coastal Notes, are the maritime museums which are of national importance to maintaining access and knowledge of historical exhibits for future generations.

Equally to keep an eye on the present day, with activities of existing and planned projects in the pipeline from the wind and wave renewables sector and those of the energy exploration industry.

In addition Coastal Notes has many more angles to cover, be it the weekend boat leisure user taking a sedate cruise off a long straight beach on the coast beach and making a friend with a feathered companion along the way.

In complete contrast is to those who harvest the sea, using small boats based in harbours where infrastructure and safety poses an issue, before they set off to ply their trade at the foot of our highest sea cliffs along the rugged wild western seaboard.

It's all there, as Coastal Notes tells the stories that are arguably as varied to the environment from which they came from and indeed which shape people's interaction with the surrounding environment that is the natural world and our relationship with the sea.

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