A use for the Royal

In an article on making use of the Royal Canal, I wrote:

[…] I am neither active in user groups nor a confidant of Waterways Ireland, so it is quite possible that folk have developed, or are developing, some plans to increase use of the Royal and Grand Canals (and the Barrow): plans that involve boats rather than, say, cyclists or walkers, who don’t actually need a functioning canal, just wayleaves and interesting artefacts to look at. I’d like to see such plans published on the Waterways Ireland website, but I haven’t found anything there.

But it seems that the cyclists may get in first. According to a report in today’s Irish Times [which may eventually disappear behind a paywall]:

Minister for Transport Leo Varadkar has instructed the National Roads Authority to examine possible routes for a cross-country cycle path from Dublin to Galway, similar to the award-winning Great Western Greenway in Co Mayo.

Mr Varadkar, who is also responsible for tourism and sport, said he wanted to secure funding for the project he predicted had the potential to bring in at least €15 million per annum. While a proposed route remained to be decided, the Royal Canal was an “obvious candidate” for the stretch outside Dublin from Mullingar to Maynooth, he said.

[…] Mr Varadkar said the proposed Galway-Dublin facility should be open to walkers as well as cyclists, like the Great Western Greenway.

Nothing wrong with any of that, of course. And perhaps walking and cycling routes could be developed in other ares, eg from Belturbet to Clones ….

Notice, by the way, that the news story mentions the National Roads Authority and the National Transport Authority. But which body is not mentioned?

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