A decision made in the late 1960s to allow farmers purchase a former railway line which ran through North Cork could hold up plans to turn it into a greenway walking and cycling route.
News of the possible impediment was given to councillors representing the North Cork region after they had urged their officials to speed up work on plans to develop the greenway amid fears their region is losing out on tourism revenue by not having it in place.
They expressed concern that Co Waterford has stolen a march on them following the opening a highly-popular greenway there.
Cllr Deirdre O’Brien raised the issue at a council meeting in Mallow when she asked what progress was being made on the proposed route, which is to run along the former railway line from Mallow to Dungarvan, Co Waterford.
The council’s senior executive officer in charge of rural development, Mary Hayes, said “a preliminary feasibility assessment has been undertaken on elements of the overall route”.
Ms Hayes pointed out that it was more complicated in North Cork as a decision was taken to allow farmers buy parts on the defunct railway line in their region, but in the case of Co Waterford the corridor remained in public ownership.
She said that difference presented her county council with a challenge as it would have to get permission from a number of farmers to allow a right of way into land they now own.
Cllr O’Brien said it would be spectacular in Fermoy where part of the route crosses the River Blackwater on a famous bridge known locally as the Viaduct.
It was made famous when stuntmen flew German First World War planes through its narrow supporting columns for the Blue Max film, staring George Peppard.
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