Minister of State for Tourism and Sport, Patrick O'Donovan, with some of the team who worked on the Westmeath greenway.

Greenway news

Cllr Penrose proposed that the council secure funding for a connection between the trail and the village.

There was good news for the Ballynacargy man with the revelation that the Mullingar Municipal District has secured €56,000 under the Recreational Grant Scheme to provide an access route. “I want to welcome this,” said Cllr Penrose, adding that there was a “great community” in Ballinea.

“This would be huge for them.”

Cllr Ken Glynn recalled having met a local committee over the issue, along with council official, Declan Leonard and he said the local groups would be delighted.

“It's something everybody out there will be delighted with,” agreed Cllr Andrew Duncan.

Cllr Avril Whitney has said it was it was great to see that signage for the Greenway was ready to go after she was informed that tourist fingerpost signs and trailhead signs are currently being designed and should be tendered in the next few weeks, subject to funding.

Speaking at a meeting of Mullingar Municipal District, Cllr Whitney was also thankful for the news that the L-58031 at Portloman would be included for resurfacing works in the 2017 budget.

Cllr Whitney asked that resurfacing works be carried out from Irishtown to Churchtown but was told that the L5907 wasn't included in the roads programme for either 2017 or 2018.

"A number of years ago we did that stretch at Larkinstown and to be honest the next stretch is just as bad. There's no number on that road, there's grass coming up the middle of it and there's houses on it," she said.

Area director Kieran Martin said there was a specific budget for the three-year roads programme and it wasn't included on it.

The greenway design details and signage specification for the Kilbeggan to Old Rail Trail at Streamstown are being finalised, Cllr Johnny Penrose was informed at the last meeting of the Mullingar Municipal District.

The Labour man also called for ‘slow down’ signs to be erected on the road down to Portloman Station, Frewin.

"Irish Water will be requested to remind users of this road to curb their speed," came the written response from the Municipal District office.


Cllr O'Brien confident of public lighting for Moate greenway

Councillor Michael O'Brien has this week said that he is confident that public lighting will be provided for along the urban stretch of the Old Rail Greenway in Moate.

“The provision of public lighting along the greenway from the old railway station to the Lake road access point in Moate is something I've raised on numerous occasions at council meetings and with Transport Minister, Shane Ross TD.

"I think the addition of public lighting would make a huge difference to the greenway in Moate as it would enable locals to utilise it safely at night and add to the overall attraction of this fantastic amenity,” said Cllr O’Brien

“This urban stretch of the greenway is 700m long and public lighting would cost in the region of €35,000. #

"I spoke to the Minister Ross during the Christmas break and he told me that following conversations with his department officials they had certain difficulties with funding this proposal, mainly in light of the extensive cost-overrun of the project – from a €4m initial estimate to the actual funding paid by the Department ending up in the region of €8m.

“They also had concerns surrounding the fact that the council funded the urban section in Athlone, thus the expectation would be that they would fund the urban section in Moate.

“I've discussed this with Moate Railway Station Group and we've made contact with Leader regarding funding and I've asked the council to assist in funding this over the next couple of years. I'm confident that working together with the various authorities that we'll be in a position to deliver on this within the next 18 months.”