Continuing the planned Ennis to Clareabbey riverwalk to Clarecastle has been underlined as valuable to linking the Fishing Village to the West Clare Greenway.
In March, €200,000 was allocated for phase one of the River Fergus Walk & Cycle project. A feasibility study was previously commissioned by the Clarecastle Community Development CLG in partnership with Ennis Chamber and Promote Ennis in 2019.
As per the study, the provision of a walkway from the Quay in Clarecastle to the Quin Rd is the objective. The funding allocation covers from the N85 at Clareabbey to the Quin Rd with construction underway in conjunction with the Ennis South Flood Relief Scheme.
Efforts to secure Department funding to continue the project to the Quay was tabled as a motion by Cllr Pat Daly (FF) at a recent meeting of the Ennis Municipal District.
Senior executive engineer, Eamon O’Dea outlined that the section from the N85 to Clarecastle Bridge and onwards to the Quay “is mainly on private lands with consultations required with the TII, Irish Rail, OPW, Harbour Commissioners, NPWS and the Council”.
Private lands were acknowledged by Cllr Daly who was adamant that funding should be sourced. “It would be the icing on the cake to walk from Ennis to Clarecastle and then onto the tip of the Greenway. We are talking about Greenways all over Ireland, it would be fantastic”.
Caution was flagged by Cllr Paul Murphy (FG) as he seconded the proposal. “We have to be careful, the whole Roche site is key to this, we can’t go in prematurely because they will have a masterplan for their site, for this to work we need to be on board with them and can’t jump the gun. There are challenges from Clareabbey to Clarecastle with the tidal barrage, railway bridge, it is possibly an environmentally sensitive area”.
Daly responded to say Roche would have “no problem” with his proposal.
Cllr Johnny Flynn (FG) welcomed the first portion which is “creating a 5.5km link looping into Ennis”. He felt “engineering solutions” must be examined to extend the link as requested.