Provision of cycleways continues with 4km on Grand Canal route

New drop-off points for bike hire open on Royal Canal at Mullingar and Maynooth

The Grand Canal Greenway is be extended from the 12th Lock to Hazelhatch Bridge, an additional 4km, at a cost of €2.1 million.

Some €1.4 million is being provided from the Department of Transport’s Greenway Programme worth € 63.5 million this year. The remaining €700,000 is to be contributed by South Dublin County Council.

The additional 4km section is aimed at providing safe, segregated access to people working in Grange Castle Business Park as well as those living in Hazelhatch, Celbridge and the surrounding areas.

It is planned to further extend the cycleway to Sallins in Co Kildare, by 2023.


Last year Offaly County Council received funding to develop the Grand Canal Greenway from Daingean to Edenderry.

By the end of 2023 there will be nearly 70km of greenway completed alongside the Grand Canal through south Dublin, Kildare and Offaly.

Funding is also in place to develop a future route between the Grand and Royal Canals which South Dublin and Fingal County Councils are working to progress over the coming years

News of the cyclepath extensions comes as businesses in the midlands report an upsurge in visitors due to the opening of the State’s longest greenway yet, the 130km Maynooth to Clondra, Co Longford, Royal Canal Greenway.

Walk of the Famine emigrants

Robert Crilly who runs the Midlands Cycling Hub in Clondara said the arrival of walkers and cyclists was a relief after the lockdown. Interest has been such, he said, that he has now set up two drop-off points for visitors to leave their hired bicycles – at Maynooth and Mullingar.

Mr Crilly said there was also interest from people in walking and cycling the famine walk from Strokestown Park in Co Roscommon to the Dublin quays.

The journey from Strokestown commemorates the ill-fated journey of 1,490 famine emigrants who walked from Strokestown Park to ships in Dublin in 1847, at the height of the Famine.

Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan expressed delight that the new extension of the Grand Canal cycleway would offer commuters an alternative route to work and school.

“This project is a great example of the role that greenways are playing in providing safe and enjoyable access to schools and workplaces as well as opportunities for leisure and tourism” he said.

Tim O'Brien

Tim O'Brien

Tim O'Brien is an Irish Times journalist