independent

Tuesday 21 October 2014

Support Boyneside Trail

Public meeting to be held on November 8 in Bettystown

ALISON COMYN

Published 07/11/2012 | 09:41

The Boyne: It's hoped to establish at 17km trail by its banks.

ARISING FROM the Drogheda Local Heroes and Drogheda City Status Group, the Boyneside Trail Committee was set up.

The committee's objective is to build a sustainable cycleway from the Mornington Tower at the Boyne Estuary, through Drogheda along the existing ramparts, via the Oldbridge Estate and finishing at the Brú na Boinne Interpretation Centre at Newgrange -- a total route of 17km.

The objective is to encompass as much of the local heritage, environment, history and leisure amenity into the project as possible.

More importantly it will provide a much-needed sustainable transport route for the communities of Mornington, Bettystown and Laytown.

' This will not be just a cycleway,' says chairman Geoff Fitzpatrick.

'It will be a place to learn about our estuarine ecology, view wintering birdlife and understand estuarine fauna and flora. It will be a route to follow the great historical events that shape Ireland today – Cromwell, the Battle of the Boyne, Mellifont, Newgrange, Knowth and Dowth. It will greatly enrich the tourism potential of Drogheda and East Meath.'

To date the group, made up of volunteers from Drogheda and Mornington, has made good progress, and will be holding a public meeting on Thursday, November 8, at the Village Hotel, Bettystown, at 7.30pm to garner public support and help.

In June of this year total funding of €600,000 was made available to complete the route from the end of the ramparts to the Oldbridge Estate.

Meath County Council is overseeing this project, with Roughan O'Donovan appointed engineers.

This is expected to be finished and open in late 2013.

' The route from the Mornington Tower to Drogheda is at early development stage,' adds Geoff, who also organises the annual Boyne 10k race.

' The success or otherwise of this project is entirely dependent on the goodwill and assistance of local landowners and community groups.

'We have been very encouraged and grateful for the support and suggestions from local residents and groups.'

While the final route has not been confirmed, discussions are ongoing with local landowners.

'In recent times the road from Mornington to Drogheda has become extremely dangerous,' adds committee member Eddie Phelan.

' The growing populations of Mornington and Bettystown require suitable pathways and cycleways to commute safely, so we are looking for support and assistance from interested groups in the Mornington and Bettystown area.'

The group will be holding a public meeting inviting all interested groups to attend and contribute on Thursday, November 8, at the Village Hotel, Bettystown, at 7.30pm. All are welcome. For details contact Geoff Fitzpatrick at 086 2421581 or gfitz@fitzsci.ie.

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