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Big strides made on Tuamgraney to Ogonnelloe walking trail

A NEW walking trail between Tuamgraney and Ogonnelloe has been hailed as a fantastic asset for East Clare.

At this week’s meeting of the Killaloe Municipal District, Councillor Joe Cooney sought an update on the amenity path which is to run from Tuamgraney to Bealkelly and which will ultimately provide greater connectivity between Scariff and Killaloe.

Councillor Cooney noted there had been extensive cooperation between Tuamgraney Development Association (TDA) the Ogonnelloe Community Group and the local authority and capitalised on the funding from the Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme. “It’s very positive to see funds being secured and the groups involved are very appreciative.”

The Fine Gael member asked the executive if there were any plans to widen the trail and how much of it would be paved with ‘blacktop’ over the coming months.

Councillor Tony O’Brien seconded Councillor Cooney’s motion, saying the tail was “a fantastic selling point”. “With all of the spurs that will link to this route,” he said. “This will be a great piece of infrastructure. I too would like to compliment everyone involved in the community and the county council.”

Councillor Pat Burke agreed the trail would represent another attraction for East Clare. “We are hearing about greenways all of the time, but this is a major project for locals and visitors alike, even if it doesn’t have the status of a greenway. We in this chamber are in government together, I’m not sure who is taking credit for the July Stimulus fund, but we’ll take the money.”

The route was described by Killaloe Cathaoirleach Pat Hayes as “a shining example of working together to get things done”. “How does it fit in with the greenway to Limerick?” he asked. “It might not meet the requirements for a greenway, but it certainly meets the requirements of the community in the area.”

Senior Executive Engineer Tom Mellett said the blacktopping would begin next week on around 4.5km of the trail. He added that vegetation which had narrowed the route in places would be removed.

Senior Executive Officer Morgan Lahiffe said there had been huge consultation with landowners along the route and everyone was happy. He said funding had to be spent by November and that the authority aimed ultimately to finish.

In response to the Cathaoirleach’s query, Director of Services Anne Haugh said an update on the greenway would be sought from its lead agency Waterways Ireland.

About Fiona McGarry

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Fiona McGarry joined The Clare Champion as a reporter after a four-year stint as producer of Morning Focus on Clare FM. Prior to that she worked for various radio, print and online titles, including Newstalk, Maximum Media and The Tuam Herald. Fiona’s media career began in her native Mayo when she joined Midwest Radio. She is the maker of a number of radio documentaries, funded by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI). She has also availed of the Simon Cumbers Media Fund to report on development issues supported by Irish Aid in Haiti. She won a Justice Media Award for a short radio series on the work of Bedford Row Project, which supports prisoners and families in the Mid-West. Fiona also teaches on the Journalism programmes at NUI Galway. If you have a story and would like to get in touch with Fiona you can email her at fmcgarry@clarechampion.ie or telephone 065 6864146.

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