Martin Heydon TD for Kildare South and Chairman of the Parliamentary Party has welcomed that news that Waterways Ireland has today agreed to proceed with developing the 50km Blueway through South Kildare Kildare from Lowtown, Robertstown to Athy.

Deputy Martin Heydon said: “This is a vital decision for Kildare and in particular for the communities of Robertstown, Rathangan, Monasterevin and Athy.

“Previously it had only planned to proceed if the full 115km route to St. Mullins in Carlow received planning permission, so there was much concern when the element south of Athy was turned down by An Bord Pleanala.

“Subject to a normal economic appraisal process of the Kildare Route, I understand that an application for funding will be made by Waterways Ireland to the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht to proceed with developing the path, an application I will support and continue to fight for.

“The development of this Blueway will ultimately link South Kildare directly to the lucrative Dublin tourist market following last week’s announcement from Waterways Ireland and Kildare County Council of €1.7million, to extend the Grand Canal Greenway from Alymer Bridge to Sallins, provides a direct link from our new Blueway through Robertstown, Rathangan, Monasterevin and Athy directly to Dublin and for South Kildare to benefit from the huge tourist potential that such a cycling and walking route will provide.”