Southern Trail News...
THE FOLLOWING REPORT APPEARED IN THE 'LIMERICK LEADER' NEWSPAPER ON JUNE 9th 2007
O Cuiv pledges extra funding towards upkeep of railway trail. A CABINET Minister has promised that resources will be made available for the maintenance of the eight-mile stretch of the newly-completed walk and cycleway between Abbeyfeale and Barnagh. The Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, Amon Cuiv, was speaking as he officially opened the facility at Abbeyfeale last Thursday.
RTE Nationwide Special: Walking
On the 28 May 2007, Marian Malone reports on the Southrn Trail, which runs through west Limerick and North Kerry. To view the programme click on http://www.rte.ie/news/2007/0528/nationwide_av.html?2253002,null,228# You will need Real Player software installed on your computer, this software is available at http://uk.real.com/player/ just click on Download Free RealPlayer and follow the instructions.
Slí Luimneach-Ciarraí Great Southern Trail Ltd.
FORTHCOMING EVENTS ON GREAT SOUTHERN TRAIL
MINISTER ÉAMON Ó CUÍV TO OPEN GREAT SOUTHERN TRAIL
The Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, Éamon Ó Cuív T.D. will officially open the Abbeyfeale to Barnagh, Co. Limerick section of the Great Southern Trail on Thursday 31st May at 2 p.m. The ceremony will take place at the old Railway Station in Abbeyfeale from which an 8 mile [13Km] stretch of a public cycle / walkway has just been completed. This development brings to 12 miles the amount of the old Limerick - Tralee railway that has been rehabilitated as a public amenity by the Great Southern Trail Ltd. which is a voluntary group dedicated to opening up the entire 53 mile route of the old railway as a 'rail-trail'. Beidh fáilte roimh gach éinne ar an lá.
INTERNATIONAL WALKING TRAILS DAY (SATURDAY 2nd JUNE 2007)
The Great Southern Trail (GST), Ireland www.southerntrail.net will join with the worldwide fraternity of rail-trails in celebrating World Trails Day on Saturday June 2nd 2007 at 3 p.m. All are welcome to join us at Barnagh Lay-By (on the N21, 4 miles west of Newcastle West, Co. Limerick). We will visit the historic railway tunnel before setting out on a stretch of the newly completed 8 mile rail-trail towards Abbeyfeale but one need only walk as far as they wish! Bí linn (Be with us). The complete programme of events is on www.internationaltrailsday.com
RAILWAY MEMORIES (WEST LIMERICK IN THE 1970'S)
CHRISTMAS WALK / SIÚLÓID NA NOLLAG
The journey should be completed in daylight and return transport will be available from Barnagh 5 p.m. and Templeglantine 5.15 p.m. with arrival back in Abbeyfeale at 5.30 p.m. Beidh fáilte roimh gach éinne. The walk route is detailed in the new GST brochure downloadable from the website www.southerntrail.net.
THE GREAT SOUTHERN TRAIL HAS JUST PUBLISHED A NEW GUIDE TO RAILWAY WALKS IN NORTH KERRY/WEST LIMERICK.
THE ASSISTANCE OF FORAS NA GAEILGE IS GREATLY APPRECIATED. IN ADDITION TO IRISH AND ENGLISH THE TEXT ALSO INCLUDES FRENCH, GERMAN, ITALIAN AND SPANISH . PLEASE FEEL FREE TO DOWNLOAD THE ATTACHMENT WHICH DETAILS THE BROCHURE'S CONTENTS. COPIES ARE ALSO AVAILABLE BY CONTACTING 00353 (0) 69 62597
PRESS RELEASE: EMBARGO UNTIL WED.25th OCTOBER 2006
Beidh fáilte roimh gach éinne go Barnagh Tunnel on Bank Holiday Monday October 30th; parking at N21 layby 4 miles west of Newcastle West, Co. Limerick. To celebrate the success of the Great Southern Trail in the Limerick County Council. Environment Awards a walk to inspect the two mile Barnagh - Templeglantine section of the old railway will set out from Barnagh layby at 2 p.m.
As work on this route is still ongoing wellingtons will be advised; the walk is not yet suitable for children. The children will be catered for in a special Hallow'een Creepy Story Session with the renowned storyteller Eddie Lenihan. This will commence at Barnagh at 4 p.m. [by which time the walkers should have returned unless they have been 'spirited away'!]. Everyone will make their way into the 126 year old Railway Tunnel for the scéalta; waterproof footwear and a flashlight [or hollowed turnip+candle] are necessary. Further details from 087 2155511 or<www.southerntrail.net>
GREAT SOUTHERN TRAIL WALK
Failte roimh gach einne to a WALK from Abbeyfeale Railway Station, Co. Limerick this Sunday 1st October at 3 p.m. It will be for 6 miles along the old railway to Templeglantine where free refreshments and return transport will be provided.
GREAT SOUTHERN TRAIL HERITAGE SUNDAY WALKS
On Sunday 3rd September at 3 p.m. four separate walks will take place along the GST to celebrate Heritage Week. They are as follows:
MEETING OF THE GREAT SOUTHERN TRAIL
A MEETING OF THE GREAT SOUTHERN TRAIL WILL BE HELD AT NEWCASTLE WEST GAA ROOMS, THE DEMESNE, ON THURSDAY 10 AUGUST AT 8.30 p.m. PLANNING FOR A NUMBER OF EVENTS SCHEDULED FOR SUNDAY 3 SEPTEMBER WILL BE DISCUSSED. THESE INCLUDE
NATURE WALK ABBEYFEALE - TEMPLEGLANTINE
HOLIDAY BRAKE TO ITALY
THE GREAT SOUTHERN TRAIL IS FINALISING A FIVE NIGHT HOLIDAY BREAK TO THE ITALIAN TOWN OF FIUGGI IN THE PERIOD BETWEEN JULY 6th AND JULY 13th. FIUGGI IS IN THE HILLS ABOUT 50 MILES FROM ROME AND HAS A RAIL-TRAIL WHICH WE HOPE TO CYCLE. DAY TRIPS TO BOTH ROME AND POMPEII/MONTECASSINO [BUT NOT ANY ADMISSIONS TO SITES] WILL BE INCLUDED IN THE 500 EURO COST WHICH ALSO COVERS TRANSFERS FROM THE ROME AIRPORT AND 5 NIGHTS B&B [SHARING].
TRAVEL INSURANCE IS NOT INCLUDED. FLIGHTS WILL BE DIRECT SHANNON-ROME-SHANNON. [MAKE YOUR OWN WAY TO SHANNON.] PLACES ARE LIMITED AND HOTEL AND FLIGHT RESERVATIONS MUST BE MADE BEFORE 25th MAY. A NON-REFUNDABLE DEPOSIT OF 150 EURO PLUS YOUR NAME AS IT APPEARS ON YOUR PASSPORT MUST BE SENT TO PAT CONDON, UPR. MAIDEN ST., NEWCASTLE WEST, CO. LIMERICK. FOR FURTHER INFOFORMATION CONTACT ELSA HALLINAN AT 087 2155511
TEMPLEGLANTINE TO ABBEYFEALE RESURFACING WORK
The Great Southern Trail Churchgate collection will be held in Templeglantine this weekend 20/21 May 2006. Within the next few weeks resurfacing work will be completed on the Templeglantine to Abbeyfeale route which is already easily walkable in it's entirety. Bain taitneamh as agus bígí flaithiúil don Bailiúcháin! On Saturday June 17th at 11 a.m. a coach will leave from Halla Inse Bán for Abbeyfeale where Geoff Hunt of Birdwatch will guide a walk along the old Railway to 'Glantine. Beidh fáilte romhat.
HISTORIC STEAM TRAIN TRIP TO TRALEE
On Saturday evening, May 6th, a steam engine which has seen service in three centuries will haul a passenger train into Tralee. The locomotive is none other than "J-15" No 186 which was built in 1879. Coincidentally it also headed the very last passenger train through Rathkeale, Newcastle West, Abbeyfeale and Listowel back in the summer of 1972. To mark this very historic occasion the Great Southern Trail Group has requested the Railway Preservation Society of Ireland (RPSI) to make some seats available. The RPSI have kindly reserved twenty places for the GST on the Killarney to Tralee section of their tour. These will be allocated on a "first come first served" basis.
A coach will depart Newcastle West at 3.00 p.m. on Saturday 6th May and will pick up en route to Killarney. The steam train will set out from Killarney at 5.30 p.m. and arrive in Tralee at 6.45 p.m. Light refreshments will be provided before returning by coach from Tralee with arrival in Newcastle West at 9.00 p.m. The "all-in" fare is 40 euros and cheques/postal orders/cash should be forwarded (along with a contact number) to Pat Condon, Upper Maiden Street, Newcastle West, Co. Limerick. Seats will only be reserved on receipt of payment.
WEEKEND IN FERMANAGH
The Great Southern Trail's next event is a visit to the North West which will be based in Belleek, Co.Fermanagh for the May Weekend. As the Hotel now needs final numbers any intending participant should contact 087 2155511 immediately.
RAILWAY SLIDE SHOW
WALK IN THE NORTH FOR THE MAY WEEKEND
The Fourth Annual Great Southern Trail visit to the North of Ireland on the May Weekend will centre on Belleek, Co. Fermanagh in 2006 with the walks programme including sections of the old Great Northern Railway and the County Donegal Railway as well as Lakeshore and Forest routes. Visits will be made to Derry City and Enniskillen (on Lough Erne) and Belleek Pottery will undoubtedly be another attraction. The journey North will be by luxury coach via Co. Galway with the return trip being through the Midlands.
Accommodation will be at the Carlton Hotel, Belleek and the €250 cost includes coach travel, two nights B&B (sharing), one evening meal and two packed lunches. Departure will be from The Market Yard, Newcastle West at 8 a.m. on Saturday 29th April and the coach will be due back at 8 p.m. Monday 1st May. Immediate contact with Elsa Hallinan phone 061 392619 or mobile 087 2155511 or email email@example.com is advised. A non-refundable deposit of €100 will secure a place (which are limited).
RELIVE THE AGE OF THE LIMERICK - FOYNES - TRALEE - FENIT RAILWAYS
ON FRIDAY 3rd MARCH AT 8 p.m. NEWCASTLE WEST PUBLIC LIBRARY WILL HOST A SLIDE SHOW OF RAILWAY SCENES FROM OVER THIRTY YEARS AGO WHICH WERE PHOTOGRAPHED BETWEEN LIMERICK AND TRALEE. The show will be presented by Mr. Barry Carse, a renowned photographer of the Irish railway scene. Barry's slides cover all stations between Limerick and Foynes as well as those between Rathkeale and Fenit (via Listowel and Tralee). The night is certain to evoke happy memories of a bygone era.
This is the fourth annual reunion of the railway personnel and their families who served with CIÉ on the old "North Kerry" railway but, of course, all interested persons are most welcome to attend. Beidh fáilte romhat. The occasion will also formally mark the donation to Limerick County Library of a collection of railway books belonging to the late Francis (Francie) Kennedy R.I.P. of Kilmallock. Francie, who died in June, 2005 after a short illness, was an avid railway enthusiast all his life. The Great Southern Trail organises this event as a "Thank You" to those who gave their working lives on what is now being developed as a public walkway. Eventually it is hoped to link the principal towns of Rathkeale, Newcastle West, Abbeyfeale, Listowel and Tralee with a pedestrian / cycle trail facility accessible to people of all ages and abilities.
GREAT SOUTHERN TRAIL
On Tuesday 27 Dec.2005 the newly constructed entrance to The Great Southern Trail [GST] at Ardagh ,Co.Limerick will be officially opened.This was constructed at the old railway bridge by a team of FAS Community Employment Scheme workers.They were Richard O Donoghue,Timmy O Sullivan and John Power. Their work was co-ordinated by Paddy Riedy [FAS Supervisor] and Tom Mc.Coy [GST Works and Environment Officer].
Proceedings will commence with a Walk from the old Railway Station ,Bishop Court, Newcastle West at 1.30 p.m. Ceremonies at Ardagh will be at 2.30 p.m. with the walkers due back in Newcastle at 4.30 p.m. The round trip is less than 6 miles [10 km.] and is an ideal post Christmas exercise. Mar sin tar amach agus bain taitneamh as an la!
GREAT SOUTHERN TRAIL AGM
THE AGM OF THE GREAT SOUTHERN TRAIL WILL BE HELD ON FRIDAY DECEMBER 9th 2005 AT 8 p.m. IN THE GAA ROOMS, THE DEMESNE, NEWCASTLE WEST, CO. LIMERICK. DUE TO THE WELCOME EXPANSION OF THE WALKING ROUTE ALONG THE OLD LIMERICK-TRALEE RAILWAY IT IS ESSENTIAL THAT INVOLVEMENT FROM THE COMMUNITIES OF ABBEYFEALE, TEMPLEGLANTINE, BARNAGH, NEWCASTLE WEST, ARDAGH AND RATHKEALE SHOULD INCREASE.
FURTHER, TO ENABLE THE POSITIVE DEVELOPMENTS IN CO. LIMERICK BE CONTINUED INTO CO. KERRY WE ALSO APPEAL FOR NEW MEMBERS FROM DUAGH, KILMORNA, LISTOWEL, LIXNAW, ABBEYDORNEY, ARDFERT AND TRALEE. OF COURSE BEIDH FAILTE CHOMH MAITH ROIMH SUPPORTERS FROM OUTSIDE THESE LOCATIONS! BREIS EOLAIS O www.southerntrail.net
CELEBRATION WALK ON BANK HOLIDAY SUNDAY
Rejoice in the Achievement Award presented by Limerick County Council in recognition of the opening up of Tullig Wood,Templeglantine by the GREAT SOUTHERN TRAIL and the Council's grant aid towards the development of a walkway along the old railway route between ABBEYFEALE and DEVON ROAD by participating in a GRAND WALK on Sunday 30th October at 2.30 p.m from THE SQUARE ABBEYFEALE to Templeglantine.
It is 6 miles and waterproof walking boots are recommended. Refreshments in Halla Inse Ban and free return transport. BRO. ANTHONY KEANE O.S.B., Glenstal Abbey will guide the walk through Tullig Wood at 4.00 p.m. Connecting complimentary coach from The Square,Newcastle West at 2.00 p.m. Bigi linn agus Failte! Breis eolais o www.southerntrail.net
Great Southern Trail Abbeyfeale News
The Annual Churchgate Collection for the Great Southern Trail takes place on 1st and 2nd October in Abbeyfeale. The support of the public and the assistance of GST members will be much appreciated. This year we are happy to report that a clearance of several years growth of vegetation has been undertaken between Abbeyfeale and Devon Road. As a result we are able to properly survey the potential of this route. We hope to walk the 6 miles from Abbeyfeale to Templeglantine on Sunday October 30th [D.V.]. Beidh failte romhat
Great Southern Trail Barnagh Glenagowan Sugarhill Loop Walk
On Sunday 2nd October at 3 p.m. all are invited to assemble at the N21 lay-by at Barnagh, which is 4 miles west of Newcastle for an enjoyable circular walk through some very scenic minor roads (including forestry roads). The route is about 7 miles and involves some hilly sections. It will take about three hours including time to visit the railway bridge at Garryduff and Barnagh tunnel. If the weather is bad then the walk will be deferred to the next available fine Sunday because the views are too good not to be enjoyed! Breis eolais o Mike Mac Domhnaill 069-62597
WALKING FEST IN WEST LIMERICK
GREAT SOUTHERN TRAIL CELEBRATES HERITAGE SUNDAY ON 4th SEPTEMBER 2005. The Great Southern Trail is hosting three separate walks on Sunday September 4th to celebrate Heritage Week. The walks are of different lengths and cater for various levels of fitness. All are welcome to participate free of charge. A facility to book meals will be provided during the walks but these are optional and must be paid for individually.
Meeting of the Great Southern Trail
On Thursday 18th August 2005 at Newcastle West GAA Rooms, The Demesne at 9.00p.m. To discuss: The Rural Social Scheme, Newcastle West Church Gate Collection on Sunday 4th September and the official opening of the new entrance at Ardagh. The Heritage Sunday Walks which will take place on Sunday 4th September as follows:-
Northumberland Railway Walks Society Irish Visit
THE LINKS BELOW DISPLAY INFO AND PHOTOS ON A RECENT VISIT TO THE GREAT SOUTHERN TRAIL, CO. LIMERICK, IRELAND [+ OTHER WALKS IN CO. KERRY] BY THE NORTHUMBERLAND RAILWAY WALKS SOCIETY FROM ENGLAND. The Great Southern Trail page is http://www.staff.ncl.ac.uk/m.h.ellison/nrws/ireland/ireland120505.htm and the page for the whole week is http://www.staff.ncl.ac.uk/m.h.ellison/nrws/ireland/ireland.htm
Official Opening of Rail-Trail
Work is also in progress along a 1km. stretch at Barnagh Tunnel (between Newcastle West and Abbeyfeale). This is being assisted by the Heritage Council. A further section, of 2 miles (3 km), is been developed around Tullig Wood, Templeglantine, Co. Limerick. To date about 100,000 euro has been spent by the GST in promoting and rehabilitating this old railway route. Further information on G.S.T. from www.southerntrail.net or Elsa Hallinan at 061 392619 firstname.lastname@example.org
RTE RADIO PROGRAMME ON THE GREAT SOUTHERN TRAIL
WORK IN PROGRESS
Great Southern Trail group have a Licence from CIE (Irish Transport Company) to operate 2 ½ miles from Newcastle West to Ardagh. Hedge and grass cutting began and the route was cleared for the Heritage Week walk, subsequent work in the Autumn/Winter saw the erection of some security barriers as well as the resurfacing of a particularly wet stretch. 6 International Volunteers commenced the process by re-decking the bridge over the River Daar, 1 km out from Newcastle West.
A large 8’ x 4’ sign was also erected at the Trail entrance near Newcastle West. In total over 5,000.00 euro of GST funds were used in these basic improvements. The availability of this walking route has enabled us to host 25 organised walks over the past twelve months.
International Volunteers in July, 2003 took on the task of rebuilding a previously demolished bridge at Tullig Wood, 5 miles to the east of Abbeyfeale, using a combination of old railway timbers and some new material. Together with some experienced local aid they had the new structure ready for an official opening on Bank Holiday Monday, August 4th The result is that a further 2.5 miles walk is new readily accessible in one of the most scenic locations along the Great Southern Trail.
The 5,000.00 euro grant given by the Heritage Council which enabled a comprehensive study of the flora and fauna of the tunnel and its approaches to be undertaken. Copies of the report are available at 5.00 euro (+ 1 euro postage) from Liam O’Mahony, 9 Bishop Street, Newcastle West, Co. Limerick.
The Heritage Council have continued their support in 2003 by allocating a further 7,500.00 euro to enhance access to the tunnel and to implement conservation measures designed to encourage growth in the bat population.
Rail bridge over river Feale at Finuge, Co. Kerry on the 28th July 2002. International volunteers redeck River Daar Bridge outside Newcastle West on the 16th July 2002 and Group of walkers at Dundrum Bay, Co. Down on the 5th May 2003.