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Councillor Clare Colleran Molloy

Update sought on Clarecastle/Ballyalla link

THE recent announcement of €200,000 funding for a walking and cycling route linking Ennis to Clarecastle has been described as “very positive”, with more funding being sought by the local authority for future projects.
Once complete it is intended that people will be able to access the route at Clareabbey, bringing them to the Quin Road.
In light of the funding, Councillor Clare Colleran Molloy, at a meeting of the Ennis Municipal District, sought an update on efforts to create a greenway/blueway from Ballyalla to Clarecastle.
Eamon O’Dea, Senior Executive Engineer, responded, “The Ennis Municipal District has submitted the “Connecting and Co-creating Ennis” project to the NTA for Active Travel Funding in 2021 with the intention of phasing the works over a number of years.
“Some the elements of works identified in the project, will require the completion of the Mobility Plan for Ennis to show the justification for the proposed higher cost works.
“The EarthRoute “Banks of the Fergus and Ecclesiastical Loop Walk”, “The River Fergus Town Loop Walk” and “The West Clare Railway Loop Walk” provide a means of getting from the N85 Bridge at Clareabbey to Ballyalla.
“This will bring a person on the proposed river bank walkway (ORIS Funding 2021), on the Quin Road over the Railway line, along Clonroad and Tulla Road, Kevin Barry Avenue to Fr Matthew Road to the Gort Road and onwards to Ballyalla.
“This work will be undertaken in stages as the funding becomes available by NTA Active Travel, ORIS Funding or other forms of grant funding.”
Councillor Colleran Molloy stated that the plans for the route from Clareabbey to the Quin Road are very positive, and she sought a timeline for the project.
Councillor Paul Murphy seconded the motion and welcomed the funding allocation. The move was described as a “great opportunity” by Councillor Johnny Flynn. Councillor Pat Daly raised the possibility of a future link from the Quay in Clarecastle to Lissane saying this would “be exciting for a lot of people”.
Mr O’Dea told Councillor Colleran Molloy that the final details were still being worked on and he would come back with a timeline.
He outlined that the walk and cycle way is planned to follow the route of the flood protection works.
In response to Councillor Daly’s query about a route from the quay to Lissane, Leonore O’Neill, senior executive officer stated that a number of different walkways were included in the Connecting and Co-creating Ennis project submitted to the NTA for funding under the multi-annual scheme.
She said that level one interventions were approved, projects which can be completed this year and don’t require statutory permissions or land acquisitions.
The quay to Lissane is not deemed level one as the lands involved are in private ownership.
However, she said it will be considered in future funding applications which the NTA have advised they will consider once the Ennis mobility plan is in place.

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