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Doolin. Photograph: Kevin L Smith

Towns north of Ennistymon need to be factored into plans for the West Clare Greenway, an elected member of Clare County Council has said.

Development of a safe quality walking and cycle route linking villages in North Clare “across the Burren and Cliffs of Moher UNESCO Global Geo Park and onto the proposed Greenway Route” was requested by Cllr Joe Garrihy (FG) at a recent sitting of the West Clare Municipal District.

Creating more safe walking and cycling routes forms part of the West Clare MD strategy, acting senior executive officer John O’Malley acknowledged. “There are many challenges associated with an area of this size and contained in an environmentally sensitive location. Currently the focus is on developing pathways and safe access points within the towns and villages mainly through Active Travel funding. The focus will turn to key links between towns/villages in the MD once this work is complete,” he explained.

Options related to the use of minor roads and pathways will be discussed with Rural Development officers, communities and councillors in the MD, O’Malley stated.

“We’ve a lot of great plans for our Greenway, it is being worked on from Ennis to Kilrush at the moment but we don’t have a big strategy for the geopark and towns north of Ennistymon,” Cllr Garrihy believed.

He stressed the need to link with places such as Lahinch, Liscannor and Doolin while referencing that the Cliff Walk is “internationally recognised”. Garrihy commented, “It is really important that we link that part of the county into the greenway through walking and cycling routes. It is something we could be a bit more creative with, we have one of the largest road networks in the country, it is a chance to look at designating minor roads for local access only as walking or cycling routes”.

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