ROD has been appointed to progress the option selection, design and assessment phases of the first section of the West Clare Greenway between Kilrush and Kilkee via Moyasta. The commission will enhance our growing portfolio of national greenways, which includes the Galway to Dublin Greenway and the Rosslare to Waterford City Greenway.

Speaking at the contract signing on 1 July, Chief Executive of Clare County Council, Pat Dowling said: “Greenways provide health and wellbeing benefits for people in rural communities, and can contribute to the local economy through increased tourism.” Director of Physical Development with the local authority, Carmel Kirby added: “The Greenway will further enhance Clare’s outstanding tourism offering, while also providing a new recreational facility to people living in the county.”

The West Clare Railway gained fame and infamy through Percy French’s 1902 song, "Are ye right there Michael, are ye right?" Fast forward to the present day and the old rail line recently featured in RTÉ’s "Iarnród Enda" TV series, which saw former Taoiseach Enda Kenny exploring the routes, histories and characters of six of Ireland’s abandoned railways.

The first section of the route to be redeveloped runs between Kilrush and Kilkee, where some sections of the original corridor are still intact, but others have been broken by development or erosion. These latter locations are considered less of an obstacle and more of an opportunity to vary the user experience. We are looking forward to exploring the wider West Clare landscape over the coming period and hope that a sensitive and attractive design will see the early realisation of the project.