In July 2012 I convened a Steering Group involving representatives of the key stakeholders in the Lough Leane trail project and charged the Group with the planning and development of the trail. To date, the Group has met on six occasions, and a further meeting is scheduled next month.
Most of this trail will be inside the boundary of Killarney National Park and because of the associated ecological issues the task of delivering this project will require careful consideration and planning. To ensure that the project is delivered as efficiently and quickly as possible, it has been broken down into various modules which will allow the advancement of some sections of the trail while the necessary consultations, assessments and planning and any land acquisitions as may be required for the more complicated aspects of the plan are moved along in parallel.
Final completion of the trail will depend on the progress made on advancing all these issues and a final deadline has not been set at this stage. I am satisfied that significant progress is being made and, insofar as possible within the constraints of the public finances, I will seek to ensure that there are no avoidable delays in bringing the project to completion.