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Abbeys

Mulherin says Monasteries of the Moy Greenway huge tourism boost for North Mayo

Ballina Fine Gael TD Michelle Mulherin has welcomed the announcement by the Minister of State for Tourism & Sport, Michael Ring TD, that €40,000 has been allocated for a feasibility study for a Ballina Greenway, known as the Monasteries of the Moy Greenway.

The grant for Mayo County Council will allow them to start planning and designing a new Greenway route, linking Ballina and Killala, with a new cycle and walking route.

This Monasteries of the Moy Greenway would be 12.5km in length and entirely off-road. The whole project would cost around €1.5 million and could be completed in phases as funding becomes available.

Deputy Mulherin recently led a deputation to meet with Minister of State Michael Ring TD on the project which she has promoted for a number of years.

Tourism boost

Deputy Mulherin said: “This is great news for Ballina, Killala and North Mayo as the abbeys and religious sites along the west bank of the River Moy, including the Augustinian Abbey, Moyne Abbey, Rosserk Abbey and Rathfran Abbey, will be linked by a walkway and cycle route and that the true value of these religious heritage sites will be promoted and encourage tourists to visit.

“We are looking at potentially 40,000 new passengers from mainland Europe coming from Germany, France, Italy and Spain with the scheduled flights into Ireland West Airport Knock from Europe.

“This is our opportunity to showcase the wealth of culture and heritage in our area and encourage people to visit. The development of the Monasteries of the Moy project will now tie in very nicely with this.”

Deputy Mulherin has led the campaign to have the Monasteries of the Moy Greenway developed for a number of years.

In late 2011, Deputy Mulherin brought Brian Hayes, TD, Junior Minister for the Office of Public Works, to Ballina where he met with Town Council officials and the Monasteries of the Moy Committee and was hugely impressed after seeing at first hand the historic sites which for the most are under his remit along the proposed Greenway.

By Anthony Hickey

Follow writer and photographer, Anthony Hickey, as he travels around his native Co. Mayo, Ireland.