Renowned Irish composer and conductor Eimear Noone has given her backing to the Blue Route on the proposed Athlone to Galway Cycleway. The route is currently open for submissions from the general public until the 1st of March. There are five options for consideration. It is hoped that one route will be chosen which would allow people to cycle from Athlone to Galway, effectively connecting the Grand Canal in Dublin to Galway city, creating a large spin-off for the tourist industry.
Eimear Noone who hit the headlines recently for being the first-ever woman to conduct the orchestra at the Oscars, hails from Kilconnell which is on the proposed Blue Cycle Route. She divides her time between the historic monastic village, Dublin and Malibu in California. I’m from the historic monastic village of Kilconnell. This week, Eimear joined a public meeting on Zoom hosted by Senator for Roscommon-Galway Aisling Dolan to lend her support to the Cycleway, who is spearheading a campaign for the public to drive submissions for the project. The composer and conductor is currently residing in Kilconnell. “I’m working from home with my husband and co-composer/producer, Craig and we’re scoring a couple of films and an animated series whilst preparing for performances in Norway, the Uk, US Mainland Europe and the Middle East later in the year. Most evenings Craig works on a Broadway Show with a team in New York, all of which we’re doing from our home in Kilconnell!” Eimear said she had been making the most of lockdown in the Galway countryside and taking advantage of the beautiful scenery and she is an avid fan of cycling. “We love to cycle and walk in the local community park, not just for exercise, but for the joy of the banter with our neighbours and friends (sadly, socially distanced at the moment).”
Eimear, whose work involves composing for video games, such as World of Warcraft and Zelda, said that the Cycleway would be a fantastic asset for the West of Ireland. “Seeing the positive impact the Kilconnell Community Park has made on our daily lives – most invaluably during lockdown – has taught me the value of nature, the fresh air and chat with our neighbours and its impact on mental health in particular, which is why the cycleway is of such interest to me. My father Padraic Noone was a passionate advocate for positive mental health programs and spent much of his career putting his ideas into practice. Of course, physical health and mental health are inextricably linked and facilitating a pursuit that tackles both is a fantastic prospect!”
Eimear has generously given of her time to join a public meeting about the Blue Route or Central Route Corridor Number Three which would connect Athlone to Galway via via Cornafulla, West of Shannonbridge, Kylemore, Lismany, Ballinasloe, Aughrim, her village of Kilconnell, Woodlawn, New Inn, Attymon, Athenry and Oranmore. “East Galway is such an historic area, much of it less celebrated than Ireland’s more famous landmarks and sometimes getting overlooked. Growing up as a child in Kilconnell, I would cycle down the hill into the village, with the awe-inspiring tower of Kilconnell Friary staring me straight in the face. I often wondered what the monks would have been up to on an ordinary day and how they interacted with the people of the village. There was plenty of food for the imagination – something that has fed my creative career and I would Iove nothing more than to see children from all over Ireland cycling through the village and getting struck by the same sense of imagination-stimulating awe.”
Senator Aisling Dolan is backing the Green and Blue Route and calling on the public to make submissions before 1st March on galwaytoathlonecycleway.com.
“We have a once in a lifetime opportunity to transform our communities working together by consensus - safe places to walk and cycle! Thanks to everyone who put in submissions so far and please have your say – this is your chance to ensure the route comes near where you live, which will have a positive impact on towns such as Mountbellew or Ahascragh for example, if a route was chosen to go near those towns. ”