Hopes ride high of green light for GST

Listowel Greenway supporters are tentatively hopeful funding for the 9km extension of the Great Southern Trail (GST) into the North Kerry town will be announced before the elections.

This follows the recent visit by officials from the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport, who were met by Kerry County Council officials, toured part of the proposed route and were given a presentation on what it represents for the region.

Elected members of the Council did not meet the Department officials but gather they were very impressed by the application.

This - combined with the fact that the planning is already in place for the route, that it will link up to the 42km-long GST in West Limerick to deliver a 50km-long walking and cycling corridor and bring it all the way into what is now Ireland's Tidiest Town - is cause for great optimism among supporters, Cllr Jimmy Moloney said.

"We meet all the criteria, and all the hard work is done on the Greenway already. We got the whole process underway in a very timely way, getting planning in time to apply for funding under this year's tranche of €15m. It was imperative that we got it all finalised in time as we did," Cllr Moloney explained.

"I would be very hopeful of a positive outcome soon."

If granted, it will open North Kerry up to a vital tourism buck in a part of the sector that is growing rapidly.

GST fans from West Limerick and North Kerry meanwhile returned from a very informative trip to the Connemara Greenway and will visit the Waterford Greenway in August.