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Waterways Ireland have agreed to communicate on an ongoing basis with the kayak and dragon boat clubs in O’Briensbridge with updates on its proposed canoe trail project.

A trail head and canoe project which will entail the development of four canoe trails and a trail head at O’Briensbridge is to proceed following the allocation of €200,000 €200,000 in funding under the Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme (ORIS) 2020 (Measure 2). Access and egress at O’Briensbridge will be via a floating pontoon jetty.

In advance of these works and a predicted increase in use in the coming years, Cllr Tony O’Brien (FF) appealed to Clare County Council to implement measures “to alleviate parking difficulties” near Bruach na Sionna in O’Briensbridge.

As a result of the proposed project, officials from Clare County Council met with counterparts from Waterways Ireland “in order to address any potential concerns around carparking that may arise in O’Briensbridge”.

Senior executive engineer in the Killaloe Municipal District, Niamh Madden stated, “It has been agreed that Waterways Ireland will communicate with the kayak club and with the dragon boat club, with a view to encouraging members to park in the nearby carpark adjacent to the playground in O’Briensbridge”.

Most suitable locations for the proposed signage to direct water users towards existing car parking facilities within the village have yet to be decided. “The Killaloe Municipal District will monitor the parking situation in this area and decide upon additional measures to help alleviate congestion, should the need arise,” she added.

Commitment to ongoing dialogue and communication was welcomed by Cllr O’Brien. “This is a problem that will be proactively solved, there is an existing car park that needs to be extended or improved,” he flagged.

O’Brien outlined, “Heretofore there has been parking difficulties particularly on lower side of bridge where some households have difficulty getting in and out of their houses with people using the water during fine weather”.

This recollection was reiterated by Cllr Joe Cooney (FG). “I’ve been contacted by people who cannot access their houses in the summer months because of the parking, it is great to see there will be more use of the existing car park. We have to think of the local people living in the area, the most important thing is that they can access their property”.

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