Having chosen to focus our energy on the American side of the Atlantic with our International Mayors’ Ride because of all the change taking place over here in Ireland this last summer in local government, local historian, Ernie Sweeney saved the day. A clairvoyant healer who didn’t learn how to read until he was in his twenties, with his photographic memory, Ernie helped us build a solid foundation for the genuinely public Tour de Castlebar we hope to do next year. When you consider the fact that, as of last June, Castlebar became a town without a mayor and that there had been. a shakeup In the administration overseeing local greenway construction leaving trails we had wanted to build the ride around unfinished, all we could do was prepare for 2015 once the new method of governing Castlebar was firmly established. No longer a town that controlled its own destiny, Castlebar, like all but three towns in Ireland, is now run by the county in which it is situated.
As such, in planning for next year, we acquired the services of one most amazing man to help us show what is so special about Castlebar on the regional, national and world plane. Inspiring Castlebar missionary Larry Dunne,
a man with only one arm and no limits,
and I rode to the Town Mall where we met Ernie who was on foot. Nor did we go far. There was so much history in this area, about one acre in size, that the following video only touches on some of the amazement Ernie filled us to the brim with:
As Ernie touches on in the fascinating podcast that augments the preceding video which you can hear here:
, the man who influenced Ghandi as he also enabled the Irish to own their own homes and land did that work in Castlebar. Also as Ernie shows, many important inventions that changed the world occurred in Castlebar, English royalty has very direct ties to Castlebar families and due to its centrality, Castlebar will soon become the gateway to the finest greenway system in the world, the Great Western Greenway
(GWG), once all the connections to it are firmed up.
Within the context of Castlebar and why we feel it will soon become an important part of the bicycle world, it must be noted that Enda Kenny
, Ireland’s top politician, referred to as the Taoiseach, was born and still has a home in Castlebar. Enda is a genuine cyclist who I had the honor of exchanging with when he first took office in 2011 <link
>. And with experience gained as the former Minister of Tourism and Sport, he played an important part in the foundational work that has resulted in the huge success the GWG is today.