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Kenny to saddle up for Greenway opening

Kenny to saddle up for Greenway opening

Anton McNulty

Politicians and council officials are believed to have been in training in recent weeks in order to keep pace with An Taoiseach Enda Kenny who will officially open the Great Western Greenway this Friday.
The 42km purpose built cycle and walking track travels from Westport to Achill and will be officially opened by the Taoiseach and Minister Michael Ring this Friday with the unveiling of a plaque taking place at Attireesh, Westport at 2pm on Friday.
A cycling enthusiast, Mr Kenny will be leading the invited quests along the Greenway from Westport House to Attireesh for the official opening and is expected to cycle the entire route to Achill.
The first phase of the Greenway between Newport and Mulranny was opened in April, 2010 and was so successful that funding was quickly allocated to extend it to Achill and Westport. The majority of the Greenway follows the historic Westport to Achill railway line which was last used over 70 years ago.
The Greenway is expected to become one of the jewels in the crown of tourism in Mayo with outdoor enthusiasts expected to travel to Mayo to follow the Greenway, which takes-in some of the most stunning scenery in Europe.
Developed for only €5million, the Greenway has already proven to be one of the major success stories in Mayo with approximately 300 people using it every day with that figure expected to increase further following its completion.
This year the village of Mulranny won the 2011 European Destination of Excellence Award for Sustainable Travel thanks largely to the presence of the Great Western Greenway. It has also boosted businesses situated along the route with a number of bike shops opening in Westport, Newport, Mulranny and Achill to cater for people using the facility.