Dungarvan to Ballinroad (Scartore) 4kms Open
This 4km stretch of Line from Dungarvan incorporating the newly refurbished Walton Park and out to Ballinroad was officially opened by Minister for Transport Leo Varadkar in 2013. It is simply fantastic. A beautiful walk will take you from the Norman-founded market town of Dungarvan, leaving the glistening Dungarvan Bay and King John's Castle behind you, passing the Moresby Buoy in Abbeyside which brings us back to the sinking of the Moresby ship in 1895. Next you walk over the Barnawee Causeway where many species of birds and sea life can be observed and finish at the newly-constructed carpark in Ballinroad in the townsland of Scartore.
Ballinroad (Scartore) to Durrow (Shanacool) 6kms Open
Ballinroad to Durrow is now complete and fully open and operational. Leaving Ballinroad (Scartore), head East past the newly planted Irish native trees with the view to your left of the Old Clonea Church with its graveyard. It is said that Christian devotion was practiced here before St. Patrick arrived in Ireland and there is the legend of the skull-like stone. Heading past marshlands, you are now in the townland of Clonea or Cluain Fhia in our native tongue which means the Meadow of the Deer which would indicate an abundance of deer here in times gone by.
The Atlantic to your right, breath in the salty sea air while the aroma of fresh strawberries waffles in the air. We come to Knock, Clonea where the trail moves inland at Ballyvoile but take in the magnificent views of Dungarvan Bay and the Gaeltacht area of An Rinn (Ring) and Helvick across the Bay before proceeding. The next few kilometres is full of history particularly with reference to Ireland's War of Independence and Civil War where the old railway line was used by rebels to attack occupying forces.
We cross the Ballyvoile Viaduct, beautifully restored by Waterford City and County Council with the story of the viaduct embedded in some of the panels of the bridge. The Bridge was blown up in 1922 during the Civil War and a train sent crashing into the valley only a few months later, it was then rebuilt and reopened in July 1924. Head through a tropical jungle type cutting into the quarter of a mile Durrow Tunnel, tasteful and discreet lighting keeps its magic and mystique intact. On a little further to Durrow (the Oak Plain) for a welcome break at Shanacool (old corner) with its Pub, Shop, picnic tables and carpark and a big welcome from Tom and Helen O'Mahony.
Durrow (Shanacool) to Kilmacthomas Old Workhouse 13kms Open
Leaving Durrow (Shanacool) only a few hundred metres and you are at the lonely ruins of the Durrow and Stradbally Railway Station, a heave of activity in its heyday now coming alive again. We pass what looks like an old corrugated roofed shed which decades ago was a Dance Hall run by Willie Cronin, it must have many stories to tell! On another few hundred metres to Durrow Viaduct, another impressive stone bridge but what's unique about it is that it is a railway bridge over a road bridge over a river.
Durrow House below and head eastwards through the lush countryside of Faha with the Comeragh Mountains shadowing us to the left. We are brought under the N25 national road at McGrath's Cross by means of a newly installed tunnel and it's onward for Kilmacthomas crossing the impressive curved viaduct that can only be really appreciated by coming down onto the path bringing you to the park below and looking back up.
Kilmacthomas with its milling history and home to Flahavans Porridge is making a big comeback with a powerful and highly driven local community ensuring that there will be a big welcome and plenty of facilities for the greenway users. The river Mahon flows under the viaduct and it's raging waters after a winter storm held back Oliver Cromwell's army in 1649 for three days who were rampaging through Munster, now the River Mahon has a more peaceful flow. Soon it's banks are going to be home to a new Whiskey Distillery.
Leaving Kilmacthomas we head past the ruins of the Kilmacthomas Railway Station recently taken over by the community to renovate into a welcoming station for visitors. We travel another kilometre and we travel over the newly installed bridge across the N25 road which brings us into the Old Workhouse of Kilmacthomas also called the Union. Very interesting buildings here since 1850 which housed the destitute after the famine of the 1840's. The infirmary is here, the dormitories are here and even the small morgue is still here. It recalls a few sad times in our history but important history all the same. There is a large carpark here and there is bike hire available in the workhouse buildings and soon there will be a restaurant here and a Workhouse Experience. Also Mayfield Birds of Prey are here. An interesting end to this stage of the Greenway.
Kilmacthomas Workhouse to Kilmeaden Railway Station 13kms Opening in March 2017
Kilmeaden Station to Mount Congreve 2km Opening in March 2017
Mount Congreve to Waterford City 8kms Opening in March 2017
We will give you a description of these stages nearer to the time that they officially open.