Cycling project starts with €840,000 phase one in west of Ireland

Posted on: November 17th, 2018

After years of talk and planning, Minister Michael Ring turns the sod on the Coolaney Mountain Bike Trail development surrounded by locals in Sligo yesterday.


Construction work has begun on a new MTB project in Sligo that aims to establish the county as a strategic national and international location for the sport.

Yesterday the sod was turned on the first €840,000 phase of the Coolaney Mountain Bike Trail development.

Over 16.5km of mountain biking trails will be built in Sligo’s Ox Mountains by next spring, with further developments to follow.

The national scale mountain bike centre in Coolaney will eventual see 70km of trail put in place.

And the local community believes it will create jobs and attract domestic and international visitors.

Minister for Rural and Community Development, Michael Ring TD turned the sod yesterday on the Coillte-Sligo County Council partnership project.

Funding for the €840,285 first phase of the project has become available under the Department of Rural and Community Development’s 2017 Outdoor Recreational Infrastructure Scheme.

The monies were secured by Sligo County Council, which has also won €200,000 from REDZ 2016 to assist in bringing the tourism and amenity project to fruition.


The sign is up and the work has finally begun. And now the opening phase should be completed by the spring, with lots more planned.


Coillte said the project was very important for the north-west region and would create sustainable jobs as mountain biking is a year-round activity and not weather dependent.

Daithi deForge, Coillte’s head of recreation said: “The Coolaney national scale MTB system, when taken in conjunction with the existing very successful trails system in the surrounding regions of Ballyhoura, Ticknock, Dublin Mountains and the new trails system at Slieve Blooms in Co Offaly and Laois will make Ireland very attractive destination for international mountain biking tourists.”

Chief executive of Sligo County Council and chair of Sligo Tourism, Ciaran Hayes, said the project was a major economic boost to the area.

“The project could not have progressed to this very exciting stage without the very close co-operation between local authority and Coillte and we at all stages noted the tremendous support for the project from the local community and elected representatives in the locality.”

Coolaney Development and the Northwest MTB Club were instrumental in ensuring the early design and feasibility studies were completed to finalise the project.

The new project is located on the Wild Atlantic Way and the Sligo Way. And the EuroVelo Route 1 passes along the boundary of the trail centre.

Bryan Conlon of Northwest Mountain Bike Club said: “The off-road trails will provide the perfect facilities for running national mountain bike events for one of the world’s most exhilarating and enjoyable sports, while also delivering a unique tourism product that perfectly aligns with Sligo’s adventure capital reputation.

“Just like our world class surfers we hope to see some international level mountain bikers emerge from Sligo in the following years. It’s fantastic to get this project realised.”