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Cross-border co-operation on mobility plan is praised

A NEW plan for the twin towns of Killaloe-Ballina has been hailed by the council’s CEO as an example of “political and executive collaboration across the water”.
Pat Dowling made his remarks as an eagerly-awaited mobility plan was formally ratified by local authority members at their December meeting.
The Killaloe and Ballina Town Enhancement and Mobility Plan (TEMP), outlines a number of key projects for both sides of The Shannon, including the future pedestrianisation of the old bridge once the new bridge and bypass are completed.
Measures to boost walking and cycling are outlined as well as actions to connect the flow of traffic to the bypass, reducing the number of vehicles in the centre of the two towns.
The drafting of the plan involved expensive public consultation and cooperation, over the course of more than a year, between the local authorities in Clare and Tipperary.
“Killaloe and Ballina are often referred to as two towns, but one community,” Mr Dowling said.
“In the future, the new river crossing will change the nature of their connection. There has been great support and collaboration between the two municipal districts who look after them.”
The CEO thanked the Killaloe Director of Services, Anne Haugh for her oversight on the plan and Tipperary County Council’s CEO Joe McGrath.
“He was very proactive when we went to him with this idea in the first instance,” Mr Dowling said.
At the December council meeting, the plan was proposed by Councillor Tony O’Brien and seconded by Killaloe Cathaoirleach, Councillor Joe Cooney.
Councillor O’Brien thanked the executives of both councils for their efforts.
“This is an outstanding document,” he said. “A lot of work, effort and time has gone into this collaboration and I thank senior planner Brian McCarthy for his work and foresight.
“The challenge now will be to draw down the necessary funds. I don’t want this plan to be just drawing dust on a shelf.
“What is proposed will create a gem and a gateway worthy of County Clare. There has been huge enthusiasm and willingness in getting it finalised.”
Councillor Cooney too complimented Mr McCarthy and his team.
“I hope this fantastic plan will be actioned in the near future,” he said.

About Fiona McGarry

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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