GST greenway vies with 20 projects

Vital North Kerry walking trail project one of 21 looking for slice of funding

Dónal Nolan

Just a third of the funding required to realise the 21 walkways nationwide which are now vying for public money exists.

The North Kerry Greenway - the extension of the Great Southern Trail into Listowel from the Limerick border in Kilmorna - is one of 21 live applications before the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport. Combined, the 21 projects need €150 million.

But the fund is capped at €50 million currently. However, politicians are confident that the North Kerry Greenway will meet all the criteria to make possible a project regarded by many as vital to the future of the region as well as Ireland's Tidiest Town.

Details of the funding state-of-play were revealed to councillors in a meeting with Minister Brendan Griffin on the issue last week.

Minister Griffin said that the projects will be assessed in January by the Department to judge which meet the criteria and which are 'shovel ready'.

Applicants will then be interviewed (Kerry County Council in the case of the greenway).

"This will focus mainly on the the potential of the project to attract visitors," Cllr Jimmy Moloney said, adding: "I am very confident we will pass the criteria stage which should decrease the number of applicants."

Successful  projects will be revealed in April.