COUNCILLORS in West Limerick have been briefed on plans to upgrade the Great Southern Trail and put it on the map as a major tourist attraction for the region.
Limerick City and County Council’s operations manger for West and South Division, Brian Kennedy, made a presentation this week to representatives from Adare-Rathkeale and Newcastle West municipal districts. Councillors were told of proposals to start the process to upgrade the route from a walkway to a greenway.
To make the 40km trail more accessible to cyclists, Mr Kennedy revealed plans to install more user-friendly gates at around 30 different intervals and of ultimately extending the public amenity from Ballyagran and Adare into Limerick City.
Speaking at this Tuesday’s Adare-Rathkeale Municipal District meeting, former Mayor Kevin Sheahan called for a plaque to be erected on the route in honour of the volunteers who had worked tirelessly on the project over the years to bring it to this juncture.
Councillors in Newcastle West were equally enthused about the plans for the Great Southern Trail when presented with the proposals this week.
Fianna Fail councillor Michael Collins offered his full support and said it could have huge potential to create local employment.
Fine Gael councillor Jerome Scanlan said tourism was the future for West Limerick, while Sinn Fein councillor Seamus Browne suggested that the council work with local businesses to maximise the potential for investment.
Councillors also proposed a meeting be set up with the Municipal District of Listowel to look at extending the trail into North Kerry.
by Alan Jacques