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Councillor Tony O'Brien has called for a clean-up of the bridges in Killaloe.

‘Killaloe is a nice place, but it could be a lot better…’

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A KILLALOE councillor has called for “a major clean-up and facelift” in the town, particularly the bridge into Ballina and the pedestrian bridge over the canal.

Addressing the July meeting of the Killaloe Municipal District committee, Councillor Tony O’Brien said he didn’t want people to get the wrong impression of the twin towns, and a major effort was needed to tidy up its key amenities.

The Cathaoirleach of Clare County Council noted that several organisations, including Waterways Ireland and Tipperary County Council had a role to play in maintaining infrastructure and facilities in Killaloe.

“I’m tabling this motion on the back of the new Killaloe-Ballina Town Enhancement and Mobility Plan,” he told his committee colleagues.

“I’ve had a good walk around and I have to say that the bottom of the town is in a neglected state.

“I have included the pedestrian green bridge in this motion because it certainly is an eye-sore. There is some doubt, it seems, about the ownership.

“That area is very unkempt and not a very inviting place to stay around.

“There are number of agencies with a role to play including the ESB, Waterways Ireland and, for sure, Clare County Council and Tipperary County Council.”

A written response to the motion from Senior Executive Engineer, Derek Troy said the district would arrange a meeting with the stakeholders “in order to clarify areas of responsibility and to establish maintenance requirements”.

The reply also stated that, “where accessible, painting maintenance will be undertaken on the pedestrian bridge”.

Given that more significant maintenance and repairs might be needed, Mr Troy’s reply added that a structural inspection of the bridge would be carried out in the coming months.

In relation to inspections of the road bridge over the Shannon, the response outlined that a reciprocal agreement is in place between the local authorities in Clare and Tipperary.

Inspections are undertaken every five years and Mr Troy’s reply noted that, “it is expected that this road bridge will be included in the next round of inspections, funded by the Department of Transport”.

“This inspection will address the vegetation overgrowth to bridge abutment structures, bridge sidewalls/parapets and recommend the required remediation measures.”
Councillor O’Brien said he was delighted with the response.

“We can’t do more until we establish who is responsible for what,” he said. “Killaloe is a lovely place to come to, by the way, and I don’t want bad reviews going out.”

The motion was seconded by Cathaoirleach of the district, Councillor Alan O’Callaghan.

Senior Executive Officer (SE)O), Morgan Lahiffe said he agreed with what Councillor O’Brien was trying to achieve. “We have constant interaction with Waterways Ireland and are on very good terms with their staff.

“Between the different agencies, we have the networks and we will meet them. It might be wise for the engineers to meet first and identify the areas being talked about.”

Saying that he was quite happy with that plan, Councillor O’Brien concluded: “Killaloe is a nice place, but it could be a lot better. We can do better, that’s what I’m saying.

“I don’t want meetings about meetings. This is a very simple job. I’m looking for the place to be nice and presentable.

“There are a number of agencies that need to step up to the plate,” the cathaoirleach of Clare County Council concluded.

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 The University of 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.

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 The University of 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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