Royal Canal Greenway wins Best Tourism Initiative

Representatives from the native authorities linked to the Royal Canal Greenway on the All Eire Neighborhood and Council Awards on Saturday. Katrina McGirr and Jenny Blackford, Waterways Eire; Paddy Mahon, CEO, Longford County Council; Paul Hogan, Westmeath County Council; Cllr Sean Drew, cathaoirleach, Meath County Council; Jean Errity and Sharon Lavin, Waterways Eire; Cllr Naoise Ó Cearúil, cathoirleach, Kildare County Council; and Norma Herron and Michael Bane, Waterways Eire.

All Eire Neighborhood and Council Awards

The Royal Canal Greenway has been introduced because the winner of the award for the Finest Tourism Initiative on the 2021 All Eire Neighborhood and Council Awards.

The greenway obtained recognition in its class on the rescheduled awards ceremony, which occurred on Saturday (April 9), on the Crowne Plaza, Dublin Airport.

Sponsored by Fáilte Eire, the Finest Tourism Initiative award seeks to recognise an initiative that instantly will increase customer numbers to an space or to Eire as an entire and its total affect on guests, communities and new and current companies.

The Royal Canal Greenway lately celebrated its first birthday by saying that greater than 600,000 visits had taken place since its launch in March 2021, deriving €17.2m for the native financial system.

It’s the longest greenway in Eire, stretching throughout 4 counties and runs via Eire’s Historic East and Eire’s Hidden Heartlands.

It was developed by Waterways Eire in partnership with the 4 native authorities of Westmeath, Longford, Meath and Kildare.

The Royal Canal Greenway is 130km of stage towpath, and ranging from the trailhead in Maynooth.

It follows the canal because it passes via Kilcock, Enfield, Longwood, Killucan, earlier than reaching Mullingar. Persevering with west, the route passes via Coolnahay Harbour, Ballynacargy, Abbeyshrule, Ballymahon and Keenagh.

At Keenagh, the path continues alongside the Royal Canal to the place it meets the Shannon on the harbour village of Cloondara, or heading north, follows the Longford Department of the Royal Canal, to Longford city.

There are numerous cafés, picnic spots and points of interest alongside the best way. Rustic and industrial landscapes mix, with rolling fields, fairly waterside villages, working locks and historic landmarks. It’s potential to cycle between any of the principle cities and return by practice. Guests are inspired to observe the place as soon as horse‐drawn barges journeyed and preserve an eye fixed out for hidden wildlife wonders alongside the best way.

The nationwide award comes following final yr’s announcement that the Royal Canal Greenway was recognised as ‘extremely recommended’ on the European Greenway Awards within the class of ‘Excellence’.

The European Greenway Awards occurred in Valencia in October 2021 to advertise examples of finest observe and to assist their replication on different greenways throughout Europe.

On the European Greenway Awards, the judges famous the Royal Canal Greenway as “a mannequin of sustainable improvement achieved via efficient partnership working that has delivered a customer expertise of large scale and distinctive distinction”.

The Royal Canal Greenway can also be a finalist within the European Bike Route of the 12 months 2022.

John McDonagh, chief govt, Waterways Eire, mentioned: “We’re happy to see the All Eire Neighborhood and Council Awards recognise the potential of this phenomenal asset, which, due to the comparatively stage towpath is appropriate for walkers, runners and cyclists.

“Launched in spring 2021, the greenway is in its infancy, but continues to impress guests from throughout Eire and past and has already contributed immensely to the native tourism trade. As we proceed to additional improve the providing for individuals who go to the greenway, we’re inspired by the popularity obtained by these awards.”

Sharon Lavin, head of selling and communications, Waterways Eire, mentioned: “Since its launch, we now have been overwhelmed by the recognition of the Royal Canal Greenway. Profitable this award is testomony to the widespread assist for the outside attraction and demand from guests searching for nature-led vacation breaks, notably inside the staycation market.

“As we transfer ahead, we hope to show how we now have developed a world class amenity that has reworked the cities, villages and communities alongside it whereas additionally making a vacation spot with worldwide attraction.

“We wish to congratulate all fellow finalists on the All Eire Neighborhood and Council Awards for his or her success.”

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