RTÉ Tracks and Trails Programme on Achill & the Greenway
On 4th December 2011, RTÉ's Tracks and Trails programme featured a journey along the Great Western Greenway from Mulranny to Achill Island
Jim Sherwin Walks and Cycles from Mulranny to Achill Island
The picturesque Mayo village of Mulranny, often known as the gateway of Achill, affords magnificent views across Clew Bay to Croagh Patrick and the Sheefry Hills. It is also the starting point for broadcaster Jim Sherwin's exploration of the walks and trails that this spectacular corner of the country has to offer. It's a journey that Jim shares for a time with his grandsons Alex and Matthew as they follow the Greenway, the new cycle path constructed on the route of the defunct railway from Westport to Achill.
First Jim explores the 6km Burrishoole loop walk along the Mulranny coast, walking the causeway that separates Mulranny's saltmarsh from the beach and sea, in the company of Mary Callahan, a woman who remembers the famous visitors to the hotel in Mulranny in days gone by.
Then Jim takes his grandsons on the second leg of the journey - the 13km cycle journey from Mulranny to Achill. On the way they meet local artist Seosamh O'Dálaigh in his studio where they discuss the inspiration that the magnificent landscape of the Cleggan Hills has offered to generations of Irish painters.
Jim visits the mysterious Achill Secret Garden, then explores the splendors of Achill's Atlantic Drive walk in the company of local guide and outdoorsman Tomás MacLochlainn. The pair visit the ancient church at Kildownet and take in the spectacular scenery of cliff and wave along the Atlantic Drive.
The journey is in many ways a nostalgic reverie for Jim - "Achill Island is where I first met my wife many years ago..." For both presenter and viewer it is a journey to remember.