Call For Politicians To Act On Tralee-Fenit Greenway

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Joe Cotter of the ‘Walk The Line’ committee with Kieran Ruttledge of the Aqua Dome and Aidan Kelly, President of Tralee Chamber Alliance, hoping that progress will take place on the Tralee-Fenit Greenway soon. Photo by Dermot Crean

IT was said that the old Tralee to Fenit railway line would never be transformed into a Greenway that would benefit to local tourism, because many believed that planning permission would never be granted.

Well, the planning process has been completed, the money is available in the form of the €53 million for Greenway projects throughout the country, but no decision as to if, or when, Kerry will receive its share for to develop the Tralee to Fenit Greenway has been made.

Kerry-based Minister for Tourism Brendan Griffin has said that activity tourism is a huge focus for the country and providing high quality walking and cycling infrastructure will assist in attracting the large number of foreign tourists interested in coming here.

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The President of Tralee Chamber Alliance, Aidan Kelly, said: “The importance of getting the Tralee to Fenit Greenway across the line is a major issue for Tralee and the business community in the town and surrounding areas. It will transform the tourism sector in Kerry’s capital to no end. A decision on the funding is due before the summer. Minister Brendan Griffin has already played a key role in pursuing the delivery of the Tralee to Fenit Greenway. Now that the finishing line is in sight, we need him to keep the momentum up to ensure that such a lucrative development on our doorstep receives the required level of funding to see the dream come true.”

Ministers Shane Ross and Brendan Griffin are due to announce the breakdown of allocations for Greenway projects in the second quarter of 2019, possibly as early as March or as late as June.

Joe Cotter, a member of the Walk The Line Committee, said: “This is very important for tourism in Tralee. We’ve been told over the years that the money wouldn’t come unless there was planning permission. The planning permission has been granted, so now is the time. It’s been 25 years since the proposal to develop the old Tralee to Fenit railway line into a greenway was first discussed and a quarter of a century later, the dream has not been realised.”

Tens of thousands of people use the Greenways in Mayo and Waterford and the local economies in both counties have reaped the benefits of the resulting increase in tourism.

The development of the Aqua Dome in Tralee in 1994 resulted in a major increase in tourism for the region and 25 years on, it is the most popular and important indoor fee-paying attraction in Kerry.

The Chief Executive of the Aqua Dome, Kieran Ruttledge, said: “The Tralee to Fenit Greenway has been on the agenda of the local authority for some time now and it’s about time we saw some action on it. We’ve seen the benefits that greenways have brought to places like Westport and Waterford, so there’s no reason why it can’t lead to a similar injection of positivity to tourism in Tralee and bring lots more people to the town. The Aqua Dome has been in business for 25 years and we believe that for the next 25 years, the Tralee to Fenit Greenway can produce a similar reaction to what the Aqua Dome did. It will bring more business and people into the town and provide that all important WOW-factor.”

Businesses across a range of sectors will benefit from the development of the Tralee to Fenit Greenway and where there’s a political will, there will be a Greenway.

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