Cork County Council and Waterford City and County Council are to examine the feasibility of a new greenway linking the two counties. Photo: Luke Myers

Green light for greenway?

Cork County Council has made plans to examine the feasibility of a new greenway linking the Rebel County with Waterford.

The greenway would be developed along a 77.35km stretch of scenic countryside adjacent to the River Blackwater, incorporating stunning scenery and using viaduct crossings at key landmark locations.

The route under consideration would run from Mallow, through to Fermoy, and onto Dungarvan where it could link-in and connect with the existing Waterford Greenway.

Funding of €361,238 has been awarded to both Cork County Council and Waterford City and County Council by the Department of Transport under the Strategy for the Future Development of National and Regional Greenways to complete the feasibility project.

Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr Gillian Coughlan said: “This project, should it come to pass, would provide a wonderful opportunity to create a vibrant tourist attraction in the north of the county, which in turn could feed into the tremendous success that is the Waterford Greenway. Nature has already provided us with a wonderful backdrop which in itself already draws tens of thousands of tourists every year.

“Since the pandemic struck, everyone truly appreciates the benefits of being outdoors and it is incumbent upon us to explore every opportunity to create new and compelling reasons to explore our wonderful county.”

Mayor of Waterford City and County Cllr Joe Kelly added: “The existing Waterford Greenway has been an unparalleled success since its opening in March 2017. We have witnessed at first hand the transformative effect that a project like this can have on local communities, business and the health and well-being of our people. Here in the heart of Ireland’s Ancient East, Waterford has already been working with Kilkenny, Wexford and Tipperary on greenway and other outdoor recreation projects.”

Cork County Council will act as the lead authority to carry out the required management responsibilities for the feasibility study, including the formal appointments of project consultants.

Chief Executive of Cork County Council Tim Lucey, said: “This feasibility study is the first step in bringing a project like this to fruition. This is an opportunity to develop a strategic, sustainable and captivating greenway that links the beautiful countryside at the heart of Munster to the scenic coast of Waterford, and beyond.”

As part of the initial steps in the development of the feasibility study, all involved local authorities are launching an online public consultation to seek the views of the general public on the Dungarvan to Mallow Greenway.

The consultation will provide information on the vision for the greenway and other keys details being considered during the initial feasibility route option assessment study. Members of the public are invited to visit from 7 March to submit their comments online. A local awareness campaign will also be undertaken.