Ireland’s Greenways are a fantastic way to get outside and experience some of the most beautiful parts of the country. Free from traffic, Limerick Greenway was designed with accessibility in mind for pedestrians, cyclists and other non-motorised users, such as wheelchair users and families with buggies.
While Limerick Greenway offers users an authentic experience of rural Ireland and a recreational path that stretches for 40km, it also boasts an array of other benefits.
Greenways benefit the environment by preserving the integrity of natural systems, protecting habitats and providing corridors for people and wildlife. Outdoor amenities such as Limerick Greenway contribute to the conservation and enhancement of our surroundings; while protecting the plant, wildlife and human populations that rely on the health and wellbeing of our natural environment.
Greenways are also known to improve air and water quality. Weaving through West Limerick’s traditional agricultural landscape, Limerick Greenway seamlessly links the towns of Rathkeale, Newcastle West and Abbeyfeale, providing an enjoyable and safe route of transportation, which also helps reduce air pollution. Greenways provide natural buffers along waterways and enhance water quality. By protecting land along rivers and streams, greenways prevent soil erosion and filter pollution caused by agricultural and road runoff.
Health & Wellbeing
Greenways encourage people to walk, or cycle, to short distance locations, improving the overall health of those living nearby. Studies have found that as little as 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise (such as walking, cycling or roller blading) can significantly improve a person’s mental and physical health.
Providing opportunities for participation in outdoor activities, close to where people live and work, is crucial when it comes to promoting healthy lifestyles. While Limerick Greenway provides an alternative route of transportation, it also serves as a primary recreation and fitness source, offering residents an attractive, safe and accessible exercise space.
Since reopening in July 2021, following significant investment from Limerick City and County Council, Limerick Greenway has welcomed more than 500,000 visits to the West Limerick region. This footfall has had a major impact in boosting local economies, with visitors spending at businesses and creating employment opportunities. Greenways contribute to the distribution of tourist spend outside of the main traditional tourism hotspots. Communities located along the greenway path benefit from the influx of people going to rural shops, B&Bs, pubs and restaurants.
Greenways also help to create a sense of positive community pride and identity, making surrounding communities more desirable places to live. Many homebuyers consider walking and cycling paths as vital features of any community, which ultimately results in increasing the value of property.
Culture & Heritage
Following the old Limerick to Kerry railway line, Limerick Greenway has played a major role in the preservation of our industrial heritage. For example, almost 155 years after it initially opened, Limerick City and County Council completed extensive restoration works on the historic Ardagh Station House. The Station House was part of a larger site which had lain derelict for years before it was purchased by Limerick City and County Council in 2020 as part of the Council’s ambitious plans for Limerick Greenway.
Towns such as Newcastle West, home to the Desmond Castle and Banqueting Hall, and Rathkeale, home to the Irish Palatine Museum, are seamlessly connected by Limerick Greenway making rural heritage and historic sites more accessible to visitors. The connectivity between these local towns provides informal opportunities to meet and interact with neighbours and tourists, strengthening community connections and cultural identity. Heritage is a crucial facet of the community, contributing to a sense of identity and place and it is paramount that our rich heritage is available for future generations to appreciate.
Greenways benefit society on a fundamental level by reconnecting people with the land and with one another. Through education, recreation and preserving local character, greenways can help restore and enhance our interactions with the landscapes that define our cultural heritage.
This isn’t just any greenway, this is Limerick Greenway. Embrace the unexpected, learn more here.