Minister Shane Ross T.D. and Minister Brendan Griffin T.D. today announced funding of €8 million for the Midleton Youghal Greenway. This award was made following an application by Cork County Council under the National and Regional Greenway Fund.
The proposed greenway will be developed on the disused railway line between Midleton and Youghal, incorporating stop-off points at the former stations in the villages of Mogeely and Killeagh. At 23km in length, the Midleton Youghal (MY) Greenway will be routed through the scenic agricultural heartland of East Cork and will have a distinctive character reflecting the natural, cultural and social history of the area to become an important local amenity and a trip-attracting route for visitors.
The development of the proposed greenway will be an important addition to tourism facilities across Cork. MY Greenway will strengthen the attractiveness of East Cork generally with the Youghal and Midleton areas in particular set to benefit as visitor destinations, benefitting the local economy through increased visitor numbers and tourist spend, supporting existing local businesses and encouraging new enterprise opportunities.
MY Greenway will also be an important local recreational amenity, delivering positive health benefits with quality walking and cycling facilities on offer. The Midleton to Youghal Greenway will seek to showcase the scenery and environment of East Cork and will make provision for biodiversity based on the principles of the All-Ireland Pollinator Plan. The route will also traverse an area known as Ballvergan Marsh which will provide opportunities to experience this unique coastal wetland with spectacular views to Youghal Bay.
Speaking at today’s announcement, Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr Christopher O’Sullivan highlighted how important this greenway will be to visitors and locals alike, “On the week where we welcome Ireland’s Full IRONMAN to Cork with Youghal playing centre stage it is fantastic to receive today’s confirmation of MY Greenway which is going to be another fantastic addition to the people of East Cork. It is now my wish that this type of development would be considered for other areas in Cork County.”
Planning for the proposed Midleton to Youghal Greenway was approved in January 2019 and negotiations with Irish Rail and CIE Group Properties are well underway in order to secure a licence to develop and maintain the Greenway.
In welcoming today’s funding award, Chief Executive of Cork County Council, Tim Lucey said, “I congratulate our own in-house team who have shown considerable professionalism and diligence to date in bring the project to this stage and securing this commitment from central government. This award of €8 million, coupled with a potential additional equivalent investment by Cork County Council, will enable the delivery of this significant project for the county and southern region of the country. MY Greenway will become a national and international attraction and will be an iconic asset of the region in terms of attracting tourists and also in supporting the local economy. Detailed design development work will now commence immediately and there will be no lack of commitment and ambition from our in-house team who have successfully progressed this project to date, in delivering it on the ground over the next number of years.”