Farranfore on track

Railway Park opens to the public

Cllr John Sheahan Mayor of Killarney Municipal Area cutting the tape to officially open the Farranfore Railway Park with Margaret Kelly, Margaret Sheehan, Dan Ahern Secretary, Gobnait O’Mahony, Fiona Walsh, John O’Donoghue Tidy Towns, Liam Fell, Catherine Cahill, Irish Rail. Jerome Crowley, Eileen O’Donoghue, MD Officer Killarney Municipal Area, Fr Tadhg O’Dochartaigh, Sean Linnane and local residents on Sunday. Photo by Michelle Cooper Galvin
Cllr John Sheahan Mayor of Killarney Municipal Area cutting the tape to officially open the Farranfore Railway Park with Margaret Kelly, Margaret Sheehan, Dan Ahern Secretary, Gobnait O’Mahony, Fiona Walsh, John O’Donoghue Tidy Towns, Liam Fell, Catherine Cahill, Irish Rail. Jerome Crowley, Eileen O’Donoghue, MD Officer Killarney Municipal Area, Fr Tadhg O’Dochartaigh, Sean Linnane and local residents on Sunday. Photo by Michelle Cooper Galvin

Stephen Fernane

Community resourcefulness was at its finest in Farranfore on Sunday last as the new Farranfore Railway Park was officially opened by Killarney Area Mayor, John Sheahan.

The park - which has been developed at the site of the old Railway water tower - was originally the old starting point of the Farranfore-Valentia rail line. 

It's a location teeming with history as it was a busy place for people emigrating during the 1940s and '50s.

Now that the site has been beautifully restored to reflect its sense of history, a small pocket-style park, with a paved path and meeting area centred on the tower, has been added. This now provides locals and visitors to Farranfore with a quiet, communal space that highlights Farranfore's rich transport heritage.

"The site was all overgrown and it's something that has been in the pipeline since 2012. It's a lovely place for a walk and there's a little footbridge over the river that takes you around the water tower. It's a lovely tranquil area," said Dan Ahern, Secretary of Farranfore Development Association (FDA).

Farranfore resident Jerome Crowley spoke about the history of the railway in Farranfore at Sunday's opening, while PP Fr Tadhg Ó Dochartaigh blessed the park. As well as huge local interest and input in the project, FDA is indebted to a host of individuals, businesses and organisations that have helped in the project.

"The work really started in 2018 with the landscaping taking place in recent weeks. It was an area totally lost to the public and now it's opened up for them to enjoy. It's a quiet space where people can get away from it all. The park is integrated into our walking routes which is safe and will encourage more people to use it," said Dan.

FDA wishes to acknowledge the support and assistance of all individuals, businesses and organisations, including Irish Rail, Kerry County Council, North East West Kerry Development, LEADER Programme, Rural Social Scheme, Clann Credo, Cara Credit Union, contactor Earthworks Profiling, Project Engineer Rory McGillicuddy and Project Legal Advisor, Cormac Foley & Associates.

Kerryman

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