Southern Trail News...

Open Day at Barnagh Tunnel on Great Southern Trail Greenway

In connection with Local Link bus services the Great Southern Trail Ltd. invites the public to visit the historic railway tunnel at Barnagh , Co. Limerick on Saturday 21st September. The tunnel is now connected to the Greenway following improvement works carried out by Limerick City and County Council and was officially opened in a ceremony on Friday 13th September!

Bus Éireann services have six stopping points which are reasonably close to the Greenway but Barnagh isn't yet one of them. However, on Saturday 21st there will be a free shuttle bus from the stop at the Longcourt Hotel, Newcastle West to Barnagh beginning at 10.30 a.m. and continuing every forty minutes until 6.30 p.m.

Participants can use the shuttle to Barnagh and return on it to Newcastle West having explored the Tunnel and its environs. Those who want further exercise can walk westwards along the Greenway to either Templeglantine, Devon Road or Abbeyfeale and return to Newcastle West on Bus Éireann.
Another option is to walk the Greenway from Barnagh to Newcastle West.

Also, bikes will be available for hire on the day for those who want to explore more of the Greenway. Cycling to the Kerry Border (16km each way) or Rathkeale (24km each way) may be too much for some so, if you wish, the good news is that you can drop off the bikes at Abbeyfeale or Rathkeale and avoid the ascent back to Barnagh.

Please wear a visibility vest if doing any of these walks or cycles.

Beidh fáilte romhat ar an lá.


GST August Trip

Great Southern Trail August 31st visit to Ardmore, Dungarvan and Youghal

On Saturday 31 August a coach will depart from the Market Yard, Newcastle West at 8a.m. to visit the South Coast. Our first stop will be for breakfast in the Round Tower Hotel, Ardmore, Co. Waterford

After a walk along the lovely beach in Ardmore we will continue along the South Coast to beyond Dungarvan from where we will walk the downhill section of the Waterford Greenway which includes a tunnel, viaduct and stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean. En-route home we will stop in the historic seafaring town of Youghal for a full four course dinner at the Red Store

The cost for coach travel and the meals is €55 which is payable to Pat Condon, Upper Maiden Street, Newcastle West, Co. Limerick. Tel: 06962344 from 5-6pm. As our previous excursions have been oversubscribed we recommend early payment to guarantee your reservation. Beidh fáilte romhat!

Barnagh Station Greenway N21 Underpass

Work on the N21 underpass which will provide safe access to Barnagh Tunnel for GST Greenway walkers and cyclists is nearing completion. The historic Station House at Barnagh is also once again to be seen.

Bike Week

All are welcome on your bikes to Abbeyfeale, Co.Limerick, Old Station this Sunday at 11am to celebrate Bike Week on the Great Southern Trail Greenway. Refreshments follow at 1pm after the 14k cycle to scenic Tullig Wood and back. Beidh fáilte romhaibh. Contact GST Vice-Chairman, Denis McAuliffe 0872030535 for further information.

Also, Aer Lingus have featured Irish Greenways including the Great Southern Trail in their in-flight magazine "CARA" this month. see Irish Greenways

GST Greenway- Green Light for Fenit and Listowel.

At long last on 21st June 2019 State funding of €3.5 million for a 10.5km extension of the GST from the Limerick/Kerry Border to Listowel plus a further €3m for the 10km Tralee to Fenit Greenway has been announced.

There is also recognition that the Tralee to Listowel old railway will be incorporated into the GST the future.

Celebrate this dea-scéal by joining in the National Bike Week cycle this Sunday from Abbeyfeale along the GST to Tullig Wood: 14km round trip... refreshments afterwards. Contact 0872030535 for more details.

Great Southern Trail Connemara Visit

On Bank Holiday Monday 6 May 2019 the Great Southern Trail group made an early departure from Newcastle West to visit the Connemara Greenway. Breakfast was partaken at the Forge in Moycullen giving everyone the energy for the Greenway Walk along the route of the old Midland Great Western Railway from Athry to Ballynahinch as well as a ramble through the estate of Ballynahinch Castle.

Then it was onwards to Lough Inagh Lodge for an outdoor afternoon tea while enjoying the wonderful views of the Lough. Wending the way homewards a lovely dinner was consumed at the Old Ground Hotel in Ennis. John Leen of Coach House Travel took great care of the group and was most obliging throughout the excursion.

The late summer day trip is scheduled for the end of August to visit Ardmore, Co. Waterford along with a section of the Waterford Greenway D.V.

Great Southern Trail group at Old Ground Hotel in Ennis.

L. to R. Will Joe Woulfe, Barnagh; Ron McCoy, NCWest; Helen Enright, Ballyhahill; Liam O'Mahony, NCWest on the Great Southern Trail trip in Ballynahinch, Co.Galway.

Frank Phelan R.I.P.

The death, on Holy Thursday 2019, of Frank Phelan, Walshestown, Castlemahon has taken from us a great raconteur, writer and local historian.

The photo illustrates one such Sunday with Frank (on the right) and myself negotiating obstacles along the Rathkeale to Ballingrane section on 7 May 2000. Frank was a good man to have at one's side.

Frank, and his wife Brigid, were great supporters of the Great Southern Trail from the outset. They were to the forefront in the long campaign to convert our old railway into a Greenway. Many is the Sunday that they participated in group walks along the then undeveloped route.

Sincere sympathy to Brigid, Anne, Pádraig and all the family from all your friends in the Great Southern Trail. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis.

Liam O Mahony

Greenway will be closed

To facilitate ongoing construction to reconnect Barnagh Railway Tunnel to the Great Southern Greenway, please be advised the Greenway will be closed to users at Barnagh from 21st April to 21st June 2019.

Limerick City and County Council appreciate your co-operation and patience while we undertake these works and regret any inconvenience caused.

Greenway Tunnel

On Friday 5th April 2019 the head of the Irish Government, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar (5th from the left), and his entourage visited the Great Southern Trail Greenway tunnel at Barnagh; 7km West of Newcastle West on the N21 road.

European Greenways Association (EGWA) Conference

The Cathaoirleach of Great Southern Trail Ltd., Liam O Mahony, was a guest speaker at the European Greenways Association (EGWA) Conference in the Basque Country, Spain which was attended by 200 guests who heard presentations from 30 guest speakers ranging across 10 countries. The two day event was very generously hosted by the Basque Autonomous Community of Spain.

PicB: L to R. Derek O'Neill, Department of Transport, Liam O Mahony, Great Southern Trail Ltd., Gordon Clarke, Sustrans, Belfast and Michael Fitzsimons, Fáilte Ireland on the 123km Vasco Navarro Greenway, Basque Country.

PicA: Left to Right Gilbert Perrin, Belgium (founder of European Greenways Association), Javier Suso San Miguel (Vasco Navarro Greenway, Spain) and Liam O Mahony Great Southern Trail Ltd. at the Greenway Conference in Vitoria-Gasteiz, Basque Country Spain.

Great Southern Trail May 6th visit to Connemara.

On Bank Holiday Monday 6th May a coach will depart from the Market Yard, Newcastle West at 7a.m. to visit the Connemara Greenway.

Our first stop will be for breakfast in the Forge, Moycullen (

The Connemara Greenway is planned to run all the way from Galway to Clifden but our visit is to a 6km section which was only opened in 2018 ( It is very scenic and includes wonderful lakeside stretches.Our walk/cycle ends near Ballynahinch Castle which also has its own parkland and walks.

In the afternoon we will continue deeper into Connemara to the Lough Inagh Lodge Hotel for tea and scones with time to relax. (

A full four course dinner at the Old Ground Hotel in Ennis will be provided en route home(

The cost for coach travel and the three food stops is €60 which is payable to Pat Condon, Upper Maiden Street, Newcastle West, Co.Limerick.(Tel: 06962344 from 5-6pm). As our previous excursion was oversubscribed we recommend early payment to guarantee your reservation. Beidh fáilte romhat!

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Contact: Secretary, Great Southern Trail, Gortbui, Newcastle West, Co. Limerick, Ireland. Email Us
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