A West Cork TD has said he is ‘furious’ that West Cork has been once again overlooked in Greenway funding.
Transport Minister Eamon Ryan recently announced €63.5m for Greenways in 2021 – the highest single-year amount ever allocated to greenways.
And while an East Cork greenway in Midleton was given funds, there was nothing for West Cork.
Deputy Michael Collins said this week that the current government was ‘quickly taking after the last one’ which also overlooked West Cork when major greenway funds were allocated.
‘It is bitterly disappointing to see that many great projects throughout West Cork overlooked,’ said Deputy Collins, who said he would be taking it up with Taoiseach.
Cork South MEP Deirdre Clune said the government has said that 2021 is only the start of its investment into developing greenways around Ireland and that they will continue to build on this level of investment over the coming years. ‘I would encourage them to make West Cork a focus for future investment as West Cork is a very valuable asset to Ireland. The already successful 5km stretch of greenway near Clonakilty demonstrates the benefit of this type of investment.’
However, as has been pointed out in the past, the Clonakilty greenway falls short of connecting two areas safely – as it emerges onto the busy N71 just before the Clonakilty Technology Park.
Deputy Christopher O’Sullivan, who opened the greenway in 2019, and mentioned the need for funding to the Taoiseach when he visitied Clonakilty during the summer, said funding hadn’t been allocated to any West Cork projects this time around, ‘because there are no West Cork greenways at the shovel-ready stage’.
If you take for example the Midleton-Youghal greenway, the tracks are still in place so it’s shovel-ready and good to go.
‘If we’re serious about investment in greenways here then we need to get to a point where those projects are shovel-ready,’ he said.
Senator Tim Lombard (FG) said that Cork County Council had prioritised funding for the Mallow and Midleton greenways. But, he added, there will be another call for funding next year it is ‘imperative’ that Cork County Council prioritises applications for the proposed projects in West Cork.