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CALLS FOR “a major clean up and facelift” of Killaloe town’s lower end and its bridge crossing the border into Tipperary has been sought.

In a proposal before the July sitting of the Killaloe Municipal District, Cllr Tony O’Brien (FF) urged Clare County Council to engage with relevant bodies such as Waterways Ireland and Tipperary County Council to organise “a major clean up and facelift of the lower end of Killaloe town” and the bridge linking it with Ballina. Cllr Alan O’Callaghan (FF) seconded the request.

He flagged, “the entire area has become overgrown. The pedestrian bridge over the canal is in very poor state and needs to get a major clean up”.

Commitments to hold a meeting with Tipperary County Council, Waterways Ireland and the ESB “to clarify areas of responsibility and to establish maintenance requirements,” were issued by acting senior executive engineer, Derek Troy. “Where accessible” painting maintenance will be undertaken on the pedestrian bridge but he was of the view that “more significant maintenance and repair works” will be required.

Arrangements will be made to undertake a structural inspection of the pedestrian bridge “in the coming months,” Troy stated. Inspections are generally undertaken every five years and are part of a reciprocal agreement with Tipperary County Council. He anticipated the bridge would be included in the next round of inspections funded by the Department of Transport and “will address the vegetation overgrowth to bridge abutment structures, bridge sidewalls, parapets and recommend the required remediation measures”.

Outlining his hope with the Killaloe-Ballina Town Enhancement Mobility Plan, Cllr O’Brien pointed to the bottom of the town and described it as being “in a neglected state”. “There is a doubt on ownership but it is an eyesore. It is very unkept and it is not an inviting place to stay around,” he commented of the pedestrian bridge.

O’Brien acknowledged the amount of agencies involved to carry out improvements and moved towards the church in Ballina with the surrounding area “like a jungle”. He was hopeful that elected members would be invited to planned meetings with the relevant agencies. “It is not totally in the wilderness, I don’t want bad reviews to be going out, Killaloe is a lovely place to come to but all I’m saying is it needs a hand”.

Acting senior executive officer in the Killaloe MD, Morgan Lahiffe responded, “I agree with what you’re trying to achieve”. He explained that they are in “constant communication” with Waterways Ireland throughout the shorelines of Lough Derg. He suggested that it might be more beneficial for the engineers from the respective local authorities to meet on their own.

“If you were to drive to Killaloe this evening, you will see that it’s a nice place but it could be a lot better,” O’Brien stated. He added, “It’s a simple job I’m looking for, we can do better”.

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