Works are to commence for the restoration of a historic nineteenth-century railway goods shed in Rathkeale, just 15 minutes’ drive from Adare, as part of the Limerick Greenway.
Limerick City and County Council (LCCC) made the announcement that the old railway goods shed will become the Limerick Greenway Hub, further enhancing the greenway’s network of visitor facilities.
The historic railway building was constructed circa 1860-1870 as part of the Limerick to Tralee railway line. Once restored and repurposed, the Railway Goods Shed at Rathkeale will provide visitors to Limerick Greenway, the scenic 40km walking and cycling route in the West Limerick countryside, with new recreational facilities that have been planned with universal access to the fore.
Limerick Greenway’s success as an exceptional amenity for local people and for visitors from the region, across Ireland and internationally, is evident in the fast-growing visitor numbers which increased by 52% year on year, in July to October 2022 compared with the same period in the previous year.
To date, more than 1 million visits have been recorded for Limerick Greenway.
The Railway Goods Shed in Rathkeale will accommodate bike hire and new visitor facilities including toilets. A public realm area around the building will provide recreational space for locals, Greenway users and visitors to the town alike, featuring picnic benches for gatherings, a water point and a bike repair stand, all facilitating an excellent visitor experience around Limerick Greenway.
Part of the €1.9m project to enhance visitor facilities in the Rathkeale Hub will include a newly upgraded car park providing mobility car parking spaces and electric vehicle charging points. Designed in harmony with the rich heritage of the town, the project on completion will complement the Irish Palatine Museum, housed in the adjoining former Railway Station House.
Director of services at LCCC Gordon Daly commented: “Limerick Greenway is a precious amenity for local, national and international visitors and we are committed to ongoing works to restore historic gems such as the railway goods shed and to enhance services at each of the visitor hubs along the route.
“Development of the Limerick Greenway Hub at Rathkeale is a key strategic project for Limerick City and County Council and will support the further development of Limerick Greenway and the town of Rathkeale to make a positive impact regionally, with social and economic benefits. With plans in place for an active travel link to the town it will become a major focal point.”
The expected completion date is December 2023 and the project has been funded by LCCC, Transport Infrastructure Ireland and The Department of Rural and Community Development under the Town and Village Renewal Scheme.
Limerick City and County Council will also commence work on a new Greenway car park at Station Road, Newcastle West in 2023 having secured planning approval in November.
In addition, LCCC has confirmed it has now appointed architect-led design teams to advance the design/master planning on Limerick Greenway hubs at Ardagh and Abbeyfeale.
This will see the restoration of Ardagh Station House and Abbeyfeale Railway Goods Shed along with public realm enhancements, visitor facilities and improved car parking.
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