Next Stop – Knocklong Railway Heritage Park There has been excitement in Knocklong, County Limerick, lately, as work is set to begin on the community’s Railway Heritage Park project. For almost a decade, Knocklong Development Association has been working with Ballyhoura Development CLG and Limerick City and County Council to develop the site of the old railway station into a park and heritage attraction. The train station, which has been closed since 1977, is a site of real historical significance. During the War of Independence, it was the location of the daring rescue of Sean Hogan, a young IRA volunteer who had been captured by the British and was being transported along the railway line. The community want to bring this history back to life and present the story of Knocklong as a place of industry and trade. The new site will include a community garden, community offices, and a museum that presents the history of the station and the exciting rescue scene. It will also see the old Station Master’s House reborn as an apartment decorated in 1920s period style and available for short term letting. This project is the culmination of years of work by Knocklong Development Association. Over the years and with the help of Ballyhoura Development CLG, the group has undertaken community planning programmes and taken part in capacity building training in project planning, group governance, and grant application writing. By learning how to engage the entire community to develop a plan as ambitious and exciting as the Railway Heritage Park, Knocklong are a great example of what a small community can achieve when they come together. "The Railway Project is a very positive project for the people of Knocklong. It will be great to bring the Station Masters House back to life, the playground and gardens will be an excellent amenity for the community of Knocklong to enjoy. We are really looking forward to the next phase of restoring and reviving Knocklong Railway park" said Mary Harty of Knocklong Development Association. The Railway Heritage Park will be developed in phases starting in late summer 2021, with the community garden to open first in 2022. Drawing of the plan of the new Railway Heritage Park Project. Aerial View of what the train station looks like today.