The Principal of Tullyallen NS, Ann Marry, who is also Chairperson of the Tullyallen Access the Glen Committee, pictured today escorting some of her pupils down to the woods at King William’s Glen for a photo opportunity before turning back because it was too dangerous. Photo: Andy Spearman.
The village of Tullyallen sits at the top of the beautiful and wooded King William’s Glen but for anyone from the village or pupils from the village school wishing to enjoy the natural beauty by walking to the woods it might as well be 100 miles away.
To get there for recreration or educational purposes they must first take their life in their hands on a twisting and notoriously dangerous road with no footpaths.
Now however, an exciting community initiative has been launched to provide a scenic walking route from the village through the beautiful King William’s Glen area to the site of the Battle of the Boyne, one of Ireland’s most significant historic sites.
The Tullyallen 'Access the Glen Committee', set up by a group of local residents to achieve the development of a footpath/walkway to allow safe access to King William's Glen from the centre of Tullyallen village, is urging local politicians and business to help ensure the project is realised.
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“We are delighted to have secured more than €58,000 from the Department of the Environment for this wonderful project but now we need everyone to get behind us to raise the additional funds,” said Ann Marry, Committee Chairperson, and principal of Tullyallen National School.
“We hope everyone will share our enthusiasm for this project which will ensure safe access to this area of immense historical significance and enhance the locality in many ways, both for residents and visitors.”
The project will primarily allow for a safe route for pedestrians along King William’s Glen, a narrow and notoriously dangerous road – as was tragically underlined just recently with another fatality at the beauty spot.
“Tullyallen has approximately 2,500 residents and the local national school caters for over 490 pupils but, as of now, there is very little green area available to the children,” Ms Marry said.
“By completing this path to the Glen, acres of woodland will immediately become available for a wide range of recreational and educational purposes.”
“The Committee believes the project has considerable tourist potential and is confident it will attract visitors in considerable numbers to the area, with particular appeal for families.
“This will have a direct economic impact on the locality, a factor already recognised by local businesses who have offered support. Local landowners have been invaluable in facilitating this project and we are deeply grateful to them for this. Coillte has also agreed to complete a further walkway through the woods to join the proposed path.”
While the Committee is delighted to have obtained a grant of €58,313, under the Department of the Environment’s Town and Village Renewal Scheme, towards the costs, the initial estimate for the works was substantially more, Ms Marry said.
“We have to fund the remaining costs through local donations and would greatly appreciate if the community, including political and business leaders, would support us and ensure we complete this project for the benefit of our children, our community, our visitors and future generations.”
The Committee would like to thank those members of Louth County Council and others who have offered support to date, Ms Marry added.
Not only is King Billy’s Glen an area of exceptional natural beauty it is also steeped in history. The evening before his victory at the Battle of the Boyne King William camped there and is said to have been so taken with its beauty that he planted two chestnut trees under which are images of himself and Queen Mary.