97km Greenway could boost tourism

The potential Greenway route, plans for which were outlined at the recent Inishowen Muncipal District meeting.
The potential Greenway route, plans for which were outlined at the recent Inishowen Muncipal District meeting.

A plan to build a cross-border 97km greenway around Inishowen and into Derry could further develop the area as one of Ireland’s leading tourism hotspots, it has been claimed.

Ronan Gallagher and Blaise Harvey of the Wee Greenway Initiative delivered a presentation on the plans to county councillors at Monday’s meeting of the Inishowen Municipal District in Carndonagh.

The cycle route would begin in Derry, through Collon and Bridgend, looping around Inishowen via Inch, Fahan, Buncrana, Drumfries, Clonmany, Ballyliffin, Carndonagh, Gleneely, Moville, Redcastle, Quigley’s Point, Muff and back to Culmore in Derry.

Addressing Councillors, Mr Gallagher said the route, which would cater to cyclists, runners and walkers, would create jobs, widen the appeal of Inishowen as part of the Wild Atlantic Way, improve the health of residents and reinvigorate towns and villages.

He added the greenway, which would cost 35 million euro to deliverwould also give Inishowen and Derry a substantial slice of the 773 million euro activity tourism market in Ireland and create potential for new business opportunities.

The Wee Greenway Initiative was establised by Ronan - who is from Derry and now lives in Moville - and Blaise in 2014 to develop the idea of building a flagship greenway around Inishowen. Over 600 people had signed up to the project’s facebook page within weeks. It is now the intention of the group to formally establish in January 2015 and lobby both Derry City and Donegal County Councils to make funding available for the project. With the agreement of stakeholders,including the two councils, landowners and funding agencies and by opening it in phases, it would be hoped to bring it to completion by 2020. The initiative received the support of all councillors.