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Tag Archives: Waterways Ireland

Petition launched over ‘dangerous’ East Clare jet ski activity

JET SKI activity at one of Lough Derg’s most scenic bathing areas has been described as “an accident waiting to happen”.  The issue has prompted a petition calling for restrictions to protect swimmers at Knockaphort, a popular bathing spot and launch point for vessels sailing to Holy Island. Local swimmers have reported a number of near-misses with jet skis. One Mountshannon woman described her own recent experience as “horrific”.  Clí Donnellan told The Champion she was so frustrated with the ongoing problem that she launched the petition last Sunday night on Change.org. “The situation last weekend was just shocking,” she said. “There is a massive, massive safety issue. Knocaphort is only around 500 metres from Holy Island. There are reeds about halfway between the shore and the island and jet skis just shouldn’t be there, and they certainly shouldn’t be speeding. Swimmers are now reluctant to go into the water because of the danger.” Clí recalled her own recent near-miss …

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McNamara pays tribute to courageous leader Trimble 

TRIBUTES have been paid by one of Clare’s Independent TDs on the passing, this week, of former Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) leader, David Trimble. Deputy Michael McNamara said it was fitting, on the eve of the Scariff Harbour Festival, which is now entering its third decade, to remember Mr Trimble’s contribution to peace on the island of Ireland. The festival’s main sponsor is Waterways Ireland, an organisation established under the Good Friday Agreement. The peace deal was finalised in 1998 by a team including Mr Trimble, and political leaders from all sides of the political divide. In 2000, Scariff became the southern regional headquarters of the cross-border navigational authority, following a decision of the North-South Ministerial Council. This prompted the idea of building links with the North of Ireland at cultural, political, community and sporting levels and led to the setting up, in 2003, of the Scariff Harbour Festival. This year’s event runs from Friday (July 29) to Sunday. “I …

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Details of route options emerge for new Clare Greenway

A FEASIBILITY study on the proposed greenway from Scariff to Limerick has concluded that there is potential for a high-quality and well-connected amenity, which will form part of the proposed Shannon Greenway.  A briefing was provided in late April to Oireachtas members on the route which will be around 40km in length. Oireachtas members were told that progress so far includes the completing of Phase 1 work on the Concept and Feasibility of the Limerick – Tuamgraney/Scariff Greenway. This work involved developing a study area and establishing the planning context as well as identifying constraints and establishing viability.  TDs and senators were shown two Preliminary Route Options (PROs). The first, Green PRO would follow The Shannon from Limerick to meet the Shannon Tail Race/Head Race. It would then proceed along the Parteen Basin to meet the Killaloe Bypass. The second, Red PRO would follow the Park Canal/River Shannon from Limerick to The University of Limerick (UL). It would then follow …

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Tourism chief backs inflatable aqua park plan for Clare

THE acting head of tourism in Clare is supporting the proposed development of an inflatable aqua park at a popular Ogonnelloe amenity area, writes Dan Danaher. West Lake Aqua Park has lodged a planning application with Clare County Council seeking permission for a new aqua park that will operate seasonally from May 1 to September 30 at Twomilegate, Ballycuggeran, which is situated a few miles from Killaloe. The aqua park will consist of an inflatable floating obstacle course, floating access pontoon, 20 foot container for check-in and 40 foot container for changing facilities including all associated works at Twomilegate. In a letter to the planning department, acting head of tourism, Deirdre O’Shea outlined this project will provide a new and dynamic tourism product in East Clare. It will, in turn, provide social and economic benefits to the region and to the local community in line with the Clare Tourism Strategy 2030, the Lough Derg Blueway brand criteria, the Shannon Tourism …

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Design work to begin on Scariff-Limerick Greenway

DESIGN work on the proposed Scariff to Limerick Greenway is to begin now that contracts have been signed, Clare’s Fianna Fáil TD has confirmed. Deputy Cathal Crowe, who is his party’s tourism and aviation spokesperson, described the potential of the 41km route as “transformational in South and East Clare”. The project, led by Waterways Ireland in conjunction with the ESB and Clare and Limerick County Councils, will result in a greenway stretching from Scariff to Killaloe, along the Errina Canal, crossing the River Shannon at the Black Bridge near the University of Limerick (UL) and on to Limerick City. “There are really good road linkages between south and east Clare and Limerick City but a greenway will take people off the beaten track and allow them to experience the natural wonders of our county,” Deputy Crowe said. “The old Errina Canal was once one of the busiest waterways in Ireland but has fallen into a state of dereliction over the …

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Councillors to be briefed on Limerick-Scariff greenway plans

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 …

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Parking issues to be tackled in O’Briensbridge

EFFORTS are being made to ease congestion caused by traffic accessing popular water-based activities at Bruach na Sionna in O’Briensbridge. The issue was raised by Councillor Tony O’Brien at the Killaloe Municipal District meeting, when he asked for action to be taken. “€200,000 has been allocated for water-based activities which is welcome,” he said. “At the moment, there are parking issues in the area, especially for households on the lower side of the bridge who have difficulties getting out onto the road. It’s great to see the action on the water but the residents are being discommoded and that’s the last thing we want. There is a carpark there and we need more people to be using that. I would be hopeful that with dialogue between Waterways Ireland and other stakeholders, there will be a solution in the near future.” Seconding the motion, Councillor Joe Cooney said that he had also been contacted by people experiencing difficulties getting in and …

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Council seeks Further Information on ‘tranquillity mooring’ plans

QUESTIONS have been raised about plans to install a ‘tranquillity mooring’ at a location close to Holy Island, on the Clare side of Lough Derg. Waterways Ireland, who applied for permission at the end of last year, have been asked to explain how anti-social behaviour and noise pollution will be avoided. In addition, county planners have requested more details of how sensitive local sites will be protected. They have also asked Waterways Ireland to consider the cumulative impact given that the visitor plan for Holy Island provides for two 50-seater ferries taking passengers to and from Inis Cealtra. Plans for one other moorings – one at Castle Bawn, Ogonnelloe  – is also the subject of a Further Information (FI) request. Plans for another mooring at Scariff Bay was also lodged last year. This has since been deemed invalid on technical aspects of the applications. Consultants who worked on the mooring plan noted that the lake is currently used for recreational …

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