Attends Launch of Ireland’s EuroVelo Atlantic Coast Route 1

Many of you will know about the developing European Cycle Network, known as EuroVelo. This was initiated by the European Cyclists’ Federation, of which is the member for Ireland.

In total there are 17 designated cycling routes criss-crossing the continent which, when completed, will be more than 90,000km in length. Ireland, on the periphery of Europe, is part of two of the 17 designated routes:

Eurovelo Route 1 (EV1), the Atlantic Coast Route, and
Eurovelo Route 2 (EV2) the Capitals Route

EV2 in Ireland extends from Dublin to Galway across the country.  It is still under development, and will be mainly off-road.

EV1 winds its way from Rosslare Harbour in the south east around the south and west coasts of Ireland, and then across from Donegal to Belfast. It is a staggering 2,550km long, 2,300km of which is in the Republic! Most of this route is on-road and mixing with motor traffic, with a few short sections on busy roads, but the majority on quieter local roads. There are also three greenway sections with more to follow. You can find out more about the details of different sections of Ireland’s EV1 on this dedicated website. The route is fully signposted along its entire length. 

Wexford Launch

On Thursday 18th May 2023, during National Bike Week, Colm Ryder, Mairéad Forsythe, and Tony Shanley from had the good fortune to be able to attend the formal ministerial launch of EuroVelo Route 1 in Ireland by Minister of State Jack Chambers. The launch took place in scenic Lady’s Island, in Wexford, which is also a pilgrim site with a long and chequered history, and well worth a visit in its own right!

Minister Jack Chambers at Lady’s Island with Councillors and Officials from Wexford County Council

Most of the counties along the EV1 route were also represented at the launch, and added testament to the fantastic work done by local authorities under the coordination of Sport Ireland’s Doug Corrie.

Eamonn Hore, Deputy Chief Executive of Wexford County Council hosted the proceedings and testified to a spend of over €1 million by Wexford Council alone in the past year to improve the road surfaces along the route, and to erecting hundreds of signposts.’s representatives can attest to a vast improvement in the road surface quality from that experienced back in 2017 at the original launch of the Wexford section of the route, although work still remains to be done.  See photo below for previous route surface quality. Well done Wexford County Council!

Poor Local road surface condition on EuroVelo 1 in 2017, now much improved on most sections – see below.’s representatives also got a chance to cycle with the Minister along a section of the route, and to talk about his new role in the Department of Transport. 

L to R: Colm Ryder, Minister Jack Chambers and Mairéad Forsythe

Of course we also checked out a few of the features and signposts along the designated route, and some of these can be seen in the images below.  The minister also posed for a photo with the reps.

We would urge members and all cyclists to check out the sections of the now fully signposted route close to them, and to report back to any positive or negative views on their experience. This of course also includes items such as reasonable stop-off eating and drinking facilities, toilet facilities, as well as accommodation. In this way we can continue to influence the overall improvement in cycling facilities nationwide, and in particular along this tourist targeted route, which should also benefit regular cyclists on many sections of it. 

Colm Ryder, Infrastructure Coordinator Report on Rural Cycling Symposium was delighted to be asked to present its Vision for Cycling in Rural Ireland at a symposium hosted by one of its newest members, Pedal Vintage Durrow. The event, titled The Future of Cycling in Rural Ireland was held in collaboration with Laois County Council and with funding from The National Transport Authority. The symposium took place in the beautiful Castle Durrow Country House Hotel on Monday 15th May 2023. The official launch was performed by Laois Rose of Tralee, Sinead Dowd who grew up in New York and enjoyed cycling there.

The array of presenters covered every possible angle of cycling. Naturally there was an emphasis on developments in Laois. Diarmuid Donoghue from the Laois Active Travel Office described some of the council’s completed and planned walking and cycling projects. Of note were footpath extensions to various GAA grounds, the planned removal of hatching to create space for segregated cycling lanes, modification of roundabouts to ensure safer cycling and an urban greenway for Portlaoise!

Regina Dunne, Laois Tourism Officer (see gave an animated presentation on the potential of Laois as a cycling destination. The county offers a variety of cycling experiences with a National Mountain Biking Centre in the Sliabh Blooms and a section of the Barrow Blueway at Vicarstown and Stradbally. Regina was particularly strong on the need for marketing and communication of what is available. She quoted interesting Fáilte Ireland research on the value of experience holidays and on how experiences should appeal to our emotions and to our senses.

Matt Doyle, Chairman of Pedal Vintage Durrow (see here) and John Holland, Coordinator of Portarlington Cycle Campaign each gave presentations. Beautiful pedal vintage hire bikes used by Durrow for their activities were on display. The Durrow group are interested in heritage but also in the practicalities of everyday cycling and there was also a presentation on a feasibility study report by Mark Murphy of MM Consult Cork on a planned Durrow Community Family Bike Hub. The study was jointly commissioned by Pedal Vintage and Laois County Council in collaboration with Coillte Management, and with funding provided under the ORIS funding stream. The trails envisage on-road off-road cycle routes from the centre of Durrow to two local woods, “Dunmore” and “Capponellan” with a (looped) return journey to The Square in Durrow. This ambitious plan chimes perfectly with one of the mantras of’s Rural Collective, “we want to be able to travel from our front door, not our car door!” members have always been amused by the nominative determinism in the name of our long-standing member and former Chair, Colm Ryder. However, John Holland, coordinator of Portarlington Cycling Campaign gave Colm a run for his money in a manner of speaking when he told us he wants Portarlington to become the Amsterdam of the midlands! John presented an ambitious vision of the cycling Mecca Portarlington could become! Campaign activities range from regular critical mass cycles highlighting the need for cycling infrastructure to celebratory events such as the Tour de Port or the novel Bike Camp and Swim events planned for Bike Week – see here

Contributors from outside of Laois included members, Clara Clark who presented on the hugely successful Cycling Without Age trishaw national initiative, and Joan Swift from the Rural Collective who presented on behalf of Jo Sachs Eldridge on the Vision for Cycling in Rural Ireland.

The final contributors were from Cycling Ireland with Jason Goodison presenting on Community Bike Rides and Paul Norton on cycling infrastructure and facilities development. The Community Bike Rides initiative is a very flexible initiative as it offers an opportunity to log solo as well as group rides and to sign up for rewards and both types of rides are covered by Cycling Ireland insurance. Paul’s presentation focused on the assistance Cycling Ireland can offer to communities interested in setting up cycling facilities such as pump tracks, BMX tracks, skate parks and learn to cycle tracks. He showed a lovely video of children enjoying the Dungarvan Learn to Cycle Facility.

Joan Swift from’s Rural Collective Group speaking at the event

Joan Swift (above) presented on’s Vision for Cycling in Rural Ireland – see The vision was launched in September 2020 and comprises eight asks which if implemented would enable people living in rural Ireland to cycle for whatever trips they choose, be it commuting, leisure or running errands. The presentation was updated to include both and national initiatives which have occurred since the original launch. 

Clara’s presentation on Cycling Without Age emphasised its national and voluntary nature, that it has grown from one trishaw in 2017 to over 63 operating all around Ireland. Many local authorities (though not yet Laois Council!) are now sponsoring trishaws for community use. Her video on how the Bike Hub partnership in Dun Laoghaire works, was a great example of social enterprise and Council cooperation.

Clara Clark speaking at the Durrow Pedal Vintage event, 15 May 2023

Oireachtas All Party Bike Week Cycle 2023, in collaboration with the Oireachtas All Party Cycling Group, was delighted to facilitate the annual Bike Week Cycle with Oireachtas staff, TDs and Senators earlier today (Tuesday 16 May 2023). Following photos at Leinster House, the group took part in an easy going group cycle on the streets encircling the Oireachtas Buildings.

Front row, L to R: Senator Pauline O’Reilly (Green Party), Ciaran Cannon TD (Fine Gael), Darren O’Rourke TD (Sinn Féín); Second row, L to R: Richard Bruton TD (Fine Gael), Gary Gannon TD (Social Democrats), Miren Maialen Samper (Dublin Cycling Campaign), Senator Lynn Boylan (Sinn Féin).

The delegation comprised Neasa Bheilbigh (Chairperson of – the Irish Cycling Network, Galway Cycle Bus and Galway Cycling Campaign), Dr. Damien Ó Tuama (National Cycling Coordinator), Mairéad Forsythe (Love 30, Chair of the Board of Dublin Cycling Campaign / CLG), Clara Clark (Founder of Cycling Without Age Ireland), Dave Tobin (Vice-Chair of and Olivia Tobin (an 11 year old girl from Limerick who loves cycling to school)!

L to R: Ciaran Cannon TD (Fine Gael), Richard Bruton TD (Fine Gael), Miren Maialen Samper (Dublin Cycling Campaign), Dave Tobin ( and Olivia Tobin (school cyclist)

There was a lovely range of bikes cycled by TDs and Senators in attendance – with folding bikes, e-bikes, cargo bikes, and bikes with child seats. The diversity of bikes being used reflects the greater diversity of uses of cycles on the streets these days.  

All in all, this was an incredibly positive event with representatives from all parties in attendance, with all in agreement that investing in everyday cycling makes complete sense. Utility cycling and its key place going forward in our transport system and climate responsibilities were common topics for discussion amongst the members of the Oireachtas. It was an excellent opportunity to engage about the successes we have had across the country in terms of cycling, and also the challenges we hope to overcome in the next year. 

R to L at the front: Ivana Bacik TD (Labour), Senator Gerry Horkan (Fianna Fáil), Minister Eamon Ryan (Green Party), Dave Tobin (

We would like to extend our sincere thanks, in particular, to Deputy Ivana Bacik as Co-convenor of the Oireachtas All Party Cycling Group and her staff for their support and organisation in today’s event. 

L to R: Catherine Martin TD (Green Party), Senator Alice Mary Higgins (Independent). Dr. Damien Ó Tuama (National Cycling Coordinator, and An Taisce), Olivia Tobin (11 year old cyclist!), Dave Tobin (Vice-Chair of, Neasa Bheilbigh (Chair of, Fintan Kelly (Irish Environmental Network), Dr. Elaine McGoff (An Taisce)
R to L: Senator Eileen Flynn (Independent), Dr. Damien Ó Tuama ( and An Taisce), Clara Clark (Cycling Without Age), Neasa Bheilbigh (, Miren Maialen Samper (Dublin Cycling Campaign)

We look forward to engaging with all parties and the All-Party Cycling Group over the coming months and years. 

Politicians Get on Their Bikes for National Bike Week

Press Release – For Immediate Use

Dáil / Oireachtas Politicians Get on Their Bikes for National Bike Week  

National Bike Week Event
Date: Tuesday 16th May
Time: 1pm

Location:  Front Gate / Kildare Street side of Leinster House, and along the cycle route

National Bike Week is well under way, with hundreds of events taking place all across the country between Saturday 13th May and Sunday 21st May. 

There is literally ‘something for everyone’, on every day of the week, at a location near you – from fun cycles to film shows to bike repairs to adventure cycles and family events and festivals. Check out the National Bike Week 2023 website for full details.  

But our Dáil / Oireachtas politicians are also showing the way and taking time out of their schedules to demonstrate the role of the bicycle in tackling climate change and making a difference in terms of our transport choices. On Tuesday 16th May at 1pm a range of our politicians from all party persuasions will get on their bikes, and cycle a circular route around the Leinster House complex (see poster route below).

This will be an opportunity to engage with politicians from all parties who are coming together to show how cycling is a key pillar of both our national transport and climate targets. at Sustainable Mobility Stakeholder Forum attended the National Sustainable Mobility Forum on 20 April (2023) in Athlone, Co. Westmeath organised by the Department of Transport. was represented by our National Cycling Coordinator, Dr. Damien Ó Tuama, with Clara Clark from Cycling Without Age also there. 

The purpose of the Forum was several fold: firstly to reflect on the key achievements of the first year of the Sustainable Mobility Policy (SMP) such as the Pathfinder Programme; secondly, to facilitate the exchange of information between public, private, voluntary and industry representatives on sustainable mobility; and thirdly, to seek the insights of stakeholders on policy objectives such as road space reallocation, demand management, and shared mobility.

The event featured an introduction by Minister Eamon Ryan, a keynote presentation by Dr. Peter Lunn from the ESRI, and a panel discussion between key representatives in this area including the OECD and the National Youth Assembly on Climate. It was particularly refreshing to hear the views of Stephen Murnane from the Youth Assembly (pictured below with the mic) – the insights of this age cohort are not heard often enough in debates on what type of transport future we ought to have.   

The Forum presented an important opportunity to re-articulate why investment in active travel makes so much sense, and to argue for reallocating road space away from private individualised motorised transport and over to public transport and cycling and walking. 

We stressed the importance of bringing local authority staff and Councillors (and perhaps also other community leaders / influencers) on study visits both here and abroad, so as to experience new street layouts and transport networks etc., to meet their peers and to discuss their concerns. This spend is ‘small change’ in transport expenditure terms, but valuable in helping to change hearts and minds. 

Clara made the point that in every town and village and on every street in cities, we need to replace one car parking space with a Sheffield rack with five stands – or replace two car parking spaces and you can have ten bikes and one cargo bike parking. This is a “Quick Win”, needs no legislation and can be done overnight. It ticks all the Active Travel boxes and re-enforces the visibility of cycling as a normal mode of transport for all ages & abilities. The cargo bike space will encourage more families to replace one car with a cargo bike, and shops can avail of the space for ‘last mile’ deliveries.

Clara also reiterated the point that cycle lanes and tracks need to be sufficiently wide to properly accommodate the Cycling Without Age trishaws (dimensions of 1.2m wide x 2m long); there are simply too many cycle facilities being built which are too narrow for non-standard bikes, including trikes, cargo bikes and mobility aids. It is also essential that the surfaces of cycle tracks are smooth – and are not dotted with sunken drain covers which can destabilise a person cycling along. 

The Forum also provided a wonderful opportunity for delegates to take a look at the nearly completed Cycle / Pedestrian Bridge over the Shannon – as shown in the image at the top there (and thanks to Westmeath County Council for this photograph).

The bridge forms part of the Dublin to Galway leg of the longer EuroVelo #2 (the Capitals Route) which has been advocating for over many years through our membership of the European Cyclists’ Federation and of the EuroVelo Coordination Centre for Ireland. We look forward to seeing the bridge completed and opened in the near future. 

Update from Meath – Navan Cycling Initiative

There is a lot happening in County Meath on the cycling development front! was delighted to receive the update below from Navan Cycling Initiative who are doing sterling local campaigning work for the last few years. 

New Greenway opens in Navan
Work on the Navan section of the Boyne Valley to Lakelands County Greenway was completed last month. The new greenway, which runs for 30km from Navan to Kingscourt, has already been a great success in locations such as Castletown and Nobber, and the Navan end has already proven to be just as popular with a huge amount of people out enjoying it.

At Navan Cycling Initiative, we have raised concerns about the lack of connectivity from the greenway trailhead to Navan town centre, and recently met with our local Active Travel team in Meath County Council to discuss the issue. Navan is in a fortunate position in that it will soon have not one but two top-class greenways (the other being the Boyne Greenway, which is still in the early planning stages), which will be fantastic for the town, but it is vital these greenways are properly connected with safe active travel infrastructure.

Navan schemes
Elsewhere in Navan, there are several cycle schemes ongoing in various planning stages (from concept to detailed design), with dedicated cycle lanes planned on the Dublin Road, the Kells Road, and the Trim Road, to name a few. See the table further below listing the schemes. These have been in planning for a number of years, having gone through the laborious Part 8 planning process, but Navan as a town is primed and ready to embrace active travel and become a cycle-friendly town. We are expecting the roll out of a new bike renting scheme (including e-bikes and cargo bikes!) over the summer, which will only get more and more people out cycling.

County Meath
There are also a number of schemes underway across County Meath. In Ashbourne, construction on the R135 Cycle Network, linking Ashbourne town centre to the Pillo Hotel roundabout, is expected to be complete by late summer. Other schemes being progressed include the Ratoath Pedestrian & Cycling Scheme, which is hoped to begin construction this year, and the Dunboyne to Clonee Pedestrian and Cycle Network, which is in the early planning stages. Meath was also successful in securing six new Safe Routes to School programmes, in various locations across the county, which will hopefully all be completed this year. welcomes updates from any of our approx. 35 member groups on what is happening in their own district or county. If you would like to post an update on the website, just drop a line to our National Cycling Coordinator here. on the Rise!

2023 is a super exciting year for as we see our campaigning work from over the years really bearing fruit with new cycling infrastructure appearing countrywide – and with more and more people taking to the bike. 

We are also entering an exciting new chapter of our journey as we enhance our ways of working and the numbers of volunteers we have on board. 

We are also looking to expand our paid professional staff complement and, to this end, we are now refreshing and expanding our Income Generation Action Group. 

We are very keen to bring into that group members of our network with expertise in the whole domain of business development and fundraising. We particularly welcome contact from those with successful experiences with making funding applications to statutory bodies and/or philanthropic organisations – and/or with knowledge of CSR / Corporate Social Responsibility schemes. 

The next six months are critical to secure funding to support the growth of cycling advocacy. If you have expertise in these areas, your work will ensure the viability of our organisation into the future.

Please drop a line to our National Cycling Coordinator, Dr. Damien Ó Tuama, if you can help out in this domain.

Thank you.