Article from Kerry’s Eye 15th of March 2018
Feint resident Mike O’Neil spoke to Jerry O’Sullivan on Radio Kerry yesterday,
You can listen back to the interview here:
The story also featured on the news for the day:
An online petition with over 1000 signatures in support of the Tralee to Fenit Greenway was presented to Kerry County Council last week, this petition follows the previous petition with approximately 1000 signatures which was submitted to Tralee Town Council in 2012.
The submission coincided with the Tralee Muncipal District Budget meeting which yet again saw no funding provided for the project, while concerns were raised about the proposed Tralee Fenit Greenway not being included in the coming year’s budget only Cllr’s Ferris and Daly voted against the budget, which passed after the other seven Tralee councillors: Foley, Locke, McEllistrim, O’Brien, McCarthy, Finucane and Spring voted in favour.
Mr. Stephenson (Fenit) who presented the petition told the Kerry’s Eye
“It’s going on far to long, we have had 20 years of excuses”
The report goes on to quote Moira Murrell CEO of KCC saying “she is hopeful that there will be funding in the near future. It is now with the Department of Tourism”
While this maybe suggest that a funding bid has been made to the department this is not the case and the indications from the department are that in order to be successful in a funding bid planning would need to be in place.
How can Kerry Co Co keep saying this project is a priority and then continuously fail to allocate any funding ?
Radio Kerry report that the final pieces of the legal agreement for transferring ownership from CIE are currently being dealt with, and the council is expected to officially own the lands by the New Year.
The next phase of works to be undertaken include completing the design for the planning application, the assessment of the environmental impacts, and lodging the planning application – this is expected to be done before the end of March.
A couple of interesting articles from over 25 years ago have appeared on the Down the Years section of The Kerryman newspaper recently, although the subject is Castleisland the similarities with the current situation with the Tralee – Fenit and the North Kerry line are uncanny:
- A community that is crying out for a unused railway to be revitalised.
- The land in question is state owned
- A project that is part of the county development plan
- Owners ( Irish Rail) who want to transfer the ownership to the local authority (Kerry Co Co)
- And a local authority (Kerry Co Co) sitting on their hands !
We wonder how that turned out…
The story of the development of the Great Southern Trail in Kerry featured on RTE’s Today with Sean o’Rourke his morning. Reporter Brian O’Connell was in Listowel and the surrounding areas over the weekend and met some of those on opposing sides of the issue.
Interestingly North Kerry Abandoned Rail Line Action Group (NKARLAG) addressed the media for the first time having refused to speak to the local media in the past.
This article from the Kerry Eye [dated August 1991] makes for some interesting reading.
Even before the tracks were removed on the North Kerry railway a report was commissioned into the feasibility of converting it into a route for cycling and walking [and horse drawn carriages ! ] , and here we are over 21 years later and the situation is pretty much the same today.
Although a short section of the lines in Tralee urban area has been recently completed, the rest of the railway lies idle, gathering rubbish and encouraging anti social behavior .
Currently the Dept. of transport, tourism and sport is asking local authorities to submit projects for it’s National Cycle Network Funding Scheme worth €6.5m will Kerry Co Co be submitting conversion of the North Kerry Railways ?
Here is a pdf of the article which might be beter for reading/printing.
Yet another article in the national media regarding the economic potential of converting former railways into Greenways, great to see the Tralee – Fenit project gets a mention !
In Mayo the railway line had previously been sold off by CIE … the Western Greenway was only made possible by the decision of 160 farmers to provide their land along the old railway line free of charge under a “permissive access” agreement.
The difference here in Kerry is that the Fenit and North Kerry railways are still state owned, what are we waiting for ?
Failte Ireland has said that cycling tourism was already worth €200m to the economy but had “huge potential” to grow even more.