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Inishowen Greenways Update


Members of the Inishowen Municipal District were updated on the progress of the Inishowen Greenway projects by officials from Donegal County Council at this week’s Inishowen Municipal District meeting.


The Inishowen Greenway, once completed, will provide a continuous loop around the Inishowen peninsula, and will also link into existing cycle/walking infrastructure in Derry and Strabane. This network will result in the delivery of approximately 120km of high-quality greenway infrastructure.


Stephen Mc Crory, Senior Executive Engineer with Donegal County Council’s Greenways team said: “It is anticipated that the provision of a high-quality greenway around the Inishowen peninsula will have a positive impact on the local community providing a safe walking and cycling corridor between local towns and villages, highlighting local cultural heritage and the outstanding natural beauty of the region, encouraging tourists to visit and explore the wider Inishowen region and providing safe and sustainable commuting and leisure opportunities for all user groups and so promoting health and wellbeing for our citizens


Nationally, the government is committed to the construction of greenway infrastructure where a solid business case can be demonstrated.  The TII has been selected by government as the sanctioning authority to deliver on this commitment and TII has been very supportive of the delivery of greenways in Donegal and particularly in Inishowen to date.


In addition to TII funded strategic greenway projects, the Northwest Greenways Network project is progressing well with ongoing support from SEUPB INTERREG VA funding with co-funding provided by the Department of Transport and Donegal County Council.


The Inishowen Greenway is made up of standalone greenway projects that provide for strategic and sustainable infrastructural assets in their own right, whilst when linked together, provide a connected network around the peninsula”


Inishowen Greenways Map


Stephen Mc Crory advised that “evidence from other greenway projects has shown that over half the visitors to greenways are local to the area thus promoting health and wellbeing in these communities and providing realistic opportunities for sustainable transport.”  Reporting on progress, he explained that substantial progress is being made on each of the Greenway Projects and he gave an update on each of the projects.


Muff to Three Trees Greenway, as part of the NWGN project funded under SEUPB INTERREG V with co-funding from the Department of Transport, Department for Infrastructure (NI) and Donegal County Council, is currently out to tender and has attracted significant interest from local construction firms.  Meanwhile the Council’s Greenways Team continues to liaise with landowners affected by scheme. Across the border, construction work has commenced on the greenway connecting Muff to Derry City and further afield via Culmore as part of the Northwest Greenway Project.


Separation from the Northwest Greenway Project created a number of challenges on the Bridgend to Buncrana and Newtoncunningham Greenway, which have now been resolved, and a clear path forward has been identified. Donegal County Council intends to appoint technical consultants for this project in the coming months to build upon the work that has been completed to date and align the project to the national strategic greenway objectives and recently issued standards and codes of practice.  This work shall feed into the design process and shall enable the project to proceed at pace, ensuring a robust application to An Bord Pleanala to secure planning in this highly scenic but environmentally sensitive area. 


Technical consultants were appointed to the Carndonagh to Buncrana Greenway project in January 2023 and good progress has been made. The first non-statutory public consultation is now scheduled for later this month on Tuesday 25th April in Buncrana and Wednesday 26th April in Carndonagh. The consultation will introduce the study area to the public, together with the key constraints and opportunities within the area. This will be the first opportunity for the public to shape the project.


Mr Mc Crory advised that in February 2023, following submissions from the Council during 2022, TII announced funding for two new greenway projects in the Inishowen Municipal District:


  • Three Trees to Carndonagh Greenway will complete the loop around the Inishowen Peninsula. “This is the final piece in the puzzle” said Mr Mc Crory ”and will provide an interconnected greenway network around the Inishowen peninsula connecting local communities as well as providing vital cross border links.”


  • Carrigans to Lifford Greenway will provide further cross border connectivity whilst serving the local communities on route. It is envisaged that this greenway will provide a connecting link between the Foyle Valley Greenway in Derry and the Northwest Greenway Network in Lifford and Strabane. The Greenways Team is currently preparing Strategic Assessment Reports for each of these projects which shall be followed by the appointment of technical consultants for each project.


Currently there are eight greenway projects under development in County Donegal, five of which are wholly or partially within the Inishowen Municipal District including two brand new schemes.


The remaining 3 projects around the county are :


  • NWGN project from Lifford to Castlefinn – construction to commence in 2023
  • Barnesmore Greenway - which had its first public consultation in February 2023 with route options now being developed
  • Burtonport to Letterkenny Greenway - which had its first public consultation in March 2023 with route options now being developed



Inishowen Greenways Logos


The remaining sections that will complete an entire greenway network around Inishowen are:

·                Muff to Three Trees

·                Bridgend to Buncrana and Newtoncunningham

·                Buncrana to Carndonagh

·                Three Trees to Carndonagh


There is also an additional section of greenway being extended partly in the Inishowen Municipal District, connecting to the recently completed work in Lifford (completed in 2021 under SEUPB INTERREG VA funding)

·                Carrigans to Lifford