KILLALOE councillors are to receive a briefing on progress with the proposed greenway from Limerick to Scariff/Tuamgraney, after the cathaoirleach of the district described local people as “perplexed” about the matter.
Councillor Pat Hayes sought details on the current status of the project, which he said has potential to link East Clare into key tourism trails across a wide geographical area.
Updating district members, Senior Executive Officer (SEO) Morgan Lahiffe said the parties involved were hoping to appoint consultants to look at potential routes for the 41km trail. “Clare County Council is working together with Limerick City and County Council, the ESB and Waterways Ireland,” he explained. “Waterways Ireland are the lead agency on this and the hope is that consultants would shortly be working on route selection options. The steering group will include this local authority and we hope that the consultants will be reporting back by the end of 2021. I have asked Waterways Ireland for the latest information and once they have more details, they will brief members of this municipal district.”
The chairperson thanked Mr Lahiffe for the update, saying he was glad to hear progress was being made. “It’s important that all of us as councillors embrace the potential of the greenway project,” Councillor Hayes said. “It has the potential to link East Clare into major tourism trails to the south and to the north.”
The route will start from the existing greenway to the University of Limerick (UL), crossing the River Shannon over the Black Bridge and following the old Erinagh Canal to O’Brien’s Bridge and onwards to Killaloe, Ogonnelloe, Tuamgraney and Scariff.
This trail will form part of the proposed Shannon Greenway, which will run the length of the river and originate in the Leitrim/Roscommon area. Work is currently underway close to the source of the river, as well as in the mid-Shannon region, where a link will be created to the recently-launched Royal Canal Greenway and the Grand Canal Greenway.
In this region, it is hoped that planning permission could be sought as early as next year for the Scariff to Limerick element of the greenway. Plans have also been proposed by Waterways Ireland for a link from Scariff to Portumna and possibly to a spur which is going to go from Athlone across to Galway. The local stretch of the greenway is also set to link to the existing Lough Derg Blueway, which is a 180km-stretch of canoe trails.