Veteran broadcaster Gay Byrne and Straffan native, Yvonne Keating, were the headline acts at the launch of the Arthur’s Way last Thursday, July 31.
Along with famed brewer Arthur Guinness’s descendant, Patrick, author of Arthur’s Round, they told their tales at the Village on Lyons.
John Osborne, County Kildare Fáilte (KF), chairman headed up night which has involved a lot of people from KF Strategic Advisor, Phil Donnelly, to Cllr. Padraig McEvoy.
Collectively they have come up with a way to recall part of the Guinness heritage with advantages for everyone, even the hard of walking.
A North Kildare Steering Group have been delving into the Guinness family historical archives, the natural beauty of North Kildare and the built heritage.
Mayor of Kildare, Cllr Fiona O`Loughlin; Paul Carty, the Managing Director of the Guinness Storehouse, Dublin; Caragh’s Celine Byrne, world renowned soprano, Peter Minnock, Kildare County Council and Justine Carey, Failte Ireland, were on hand to heard praises sung.
Guests at the launch were treated to a nostalgic trip down memory lane as they availed of a -cruise down the adjacent Grand Canal by bargetrip.ie.
Afterwards local young flautist Declan Brennan, whistled in the wind arounds us.
Patrick Guinness received a specially commissioned painting by local artist, Eileen Keane. Gay Byrne was presented with the James Durney book “In A Time of War – Kildare 1914 – 1918. His own father served in the First World War and he told us of the very generous financial support the Guinness firm gave to those who joined the British army to fight in that way. His family was closely linked to the tight knit Guinness community.
There was also a narration on the Way by Patrick.
Arthur’s Way (www.ArthursWay.ie) is a four stage outdoors heritage trail (3.5 hours on foot and 1.5 hours cycling) across northeast Kildare that follows in the footsteps of Arthur Guinness, starting at Luke Moriarty’s Courtyard Hotel in Leixlip.
In just 16 km, it links many of the historic sites associated with Ireland’s most famous brewers – the Guinness family: Celbridge - where Arthur spent his childhood; Leixlip - the site of his first brewery and Oughterard graveyard - Arthur’s final resting place near his ancestral home.
The Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport recently announced that €311,000 in funding will be granted for the development of Arthur’s Way as a cycling route in addition to the walking route which is currently under development.