The full funding of €5,067,941 sought by Kildare and Laois County Councils and Waterways Ireland to progress the Barrow Blueway project from Lowtown in Robertstown to Vicarstown and Athy has been confirmed this morning by Minister for Rural & Community Development Michael Ring under the Rural Regeneration Fund.
Fine Gael TD and Chairman of the Fine Gael Parliamentary Party, Martin Heydon welcomed the news.
“After months of planning, public meetings and lobbying, my colleague Michael Ring has confirmed to me an allocation of the full amount of €5,067.941 to ensure our dream of a 46km blueway along the Grand Canal Barrow line will now become a reality.
“The award of the full amount sought for this major project is a huge boost for the towns of Athy, Monasterevin, Rathangan, Vicarstown and all areas that the Blueway will traverse from Lowtown in Robertstown to Athy passing through areas of Co. Laois.
“This is a really exciting project which I have worked on for a long time as I know it has the potential to revitalise many communities of South Kildare and Laois who are really supportive of the project.
“This top tourist attraction is sure to bring a huge economic boost to South Kildare and Laois and will mean that we will be directly linked from the Grand Canal Dock in Dublin through the developing Greenway in North Kildare all the way to South Kildare, directly linking us to the largest tourism market in the Country.
“Well done to all who have worked so hard on this project to bring it to this point, officials in Kildare and Laois County Councils to see it through planning permission and who worked with Waterways Ireland on the funding application and all the voluntary and community groups in the areas concerned who have shown such enthusiasm for the project.”
Fianna Fail TD for South Kildare Fiona O’Loughlin also welcomed the news.
She said: “I’m thrilled to see that five million euro has been secured under the Rural Regeneration Scheme to proceed with developing the 46km Bluway through South Kildare and parts of Laois.
“This decision will bring huge economic benefits to Robertstown, Rathangan, Monasterevin, Athy and parts of Laois.
“There was great attendance, enthusiasm and willingness to work together from all who attended my public meetings in the past so I’ve no doubt South Kildare will see the benefits of the Blueway
“I look forward to working with everybody to progress this project and to seeing the Blueway utilised by people living in Kildare and the tourists it will attract.”