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Great Western Greenway 5km Extension From Achill Sound To Cashel Officially Opened

Date: 01-09-2023

Minister of State at the Department of Transport and at the Department of Environment, Climate and Communications, Jack Chambers TD officially opened the extension of the Great Western Greenway from Achill Sound to Cashel this morning.

The official opening of the new 5km extension of the Great Western Greenway was carried out by Minister of State Chambers alongside Leas Cathaoirleach of Mayo County Council, Cllr Martin McLoughlin.

This extension of the Great Western Greenway sees an additional 5km added to existing 44km length of the greenway, which now links up Westport to Cashel on Achill Island and will further enhance the tourism offering in Mayo.

The project was managed by and constructed by Mayo County Council’s Engineering and Outdoor staff and contractors. It also saw the cooperation of 25 landowners and 25 commonage shareholders with Mayo County Council to bring the project to fruition.

One of the major highlights of this new greenway extension is the unique and bespoke 400m of boardwalk that traverses a portion of blanket bog – this is the widest greenway boardwalk currently in use in the state and was constructed using sustainable and environmentally friendly products.

Opening the new greenway extension Minister of State Chambers said: “The opening of this 5km extension means that the Great Western Greenway will now extend into Achill Island. The Great Western Greenway has enjoyed tremendous success since it’s opening in 2011 attracting significant numbers of visitors to this part of County Mayo.

“Approximately €4 million has been spent to date by the Department of Transport in relation to the construction of this extension to Cashel. Work is underway to continue this extension by another 4km providing an almost fully segregated cycleway from Westport to Keel, I look forward to its completion in due course”.

Leas Cathaoirleach of Mayo County Council, Cllr McLoughlin added: “The Great Western Greenway has been one of the most important projects that Mayo County Council have invested in over the past half a century. We have seen the greenway grow from an acorn of an idea to the blossoming piece of tourism infrastructure it has become today.

“Not only does it attract thousands of visitors a year to the county, it has seen towns and villages along the route thrive and brought vital employment to there and this extension will only increase this.”

Joanne Grehan, Deputy Chief Executive of Mayo County Council said: “Mayo County Council has once again shown why it is the leader when it comes to the provision of tourism infrastructure with his new extension of the Great Western Greenway to Cashel.

“As always with projects like this stakeholder engagement is a key consideration and I want to thank the 25 landholders and 25 commonage shareholders whose co-operation ensured this project was brought to completion.

“I would also like to acknowledge the Mayo County Council staff across several sections who nurtured this Greenway extension from its inception to completion. It was also delivered thanks to our funding partners Transport Infrastructure Ireland, the Department of Rural and Community Development and the other partner agencies who assisted with this project.”

Western Region Manager for Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) Kieran Kelly said: “The Great Western Greenway lit the spark that allowed so many other regions throughout country to see the benefits of Greenway projects. TII and Mayo County Council worked collaboratively on delivering this 5km Greenway extension to Achill Island, adding to the existing 44km of the Great Western Greenway. TII looks forward to working with Mayo County Council on future projects.”

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