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NORTH CLARE may be classed as one of the most visited parts of the county but it is lacking a plan “to make it an attractive place to cycle through,” a local representative has flagged.

Linking parts of North Clare with the West Clare Greenway and other villages with the neighbouring county of Galway has been suggested by Cllr Joe Garrihy (FG) in order to grow slow tourism in the area.

In a recent proposal before the West Clare Municipal District, he asked that a plan be developed to link Corofin, Carron, Kilfenora, Lisdoonvarna, Doolin, Liscannor and Lahinch with walking and cycling routes “to ensure these settlements and communities have appropriate attractive and safe linkage to the overall West Clare Greenway in progress and the Green Road to the Burren, Fanore and Ballyvaughan”.

On top of this, he wished to see the potential for further cycling and walking connectivity between North Clare and Galway explored through Bellharbour, New Quay to Kinvara and Tubber to Gort.

Acting senior executive officer in the West Clare MD, John O’Malley stated that “various works related to walking and cycling routes” were being progressed under the Active Travel fund. “The initial phase of this work focused on upgrading existing and new infrastructure within our towns and villages. The focus is progressing in 2022 to linking up towns and villages including a number of the towns listed in the Motion”.

Links from the proposed West Clare Greenway have been included by the Project Management Office of Clare County Council in additional works under Active Travel, O’Malley confirmed. “Further consideration will be given to linking the Green Road with a view to including in future phases of this Fund and other funding sources. The MD will also investigate with Councillor Garrihy the potential for connectivity with County Galway and work with our neighbouring Local Authority on this. Progress on this is dependent on available resources within the MD, Councils Physical Directorate and Contractors to complete the works,” he added.

Success of Greenways right across Ireland has helped to focus the mind, Cllr Garrihy commented. “I’m looking at one of the parts of our county which is the most successful and visited but is without a plan to make it an attractive place to cycle through”. He felt engagement with Burren Lowlands would be a step in the right direction to join up the dots. The proposal was seconded by Cllr Cillian Murphy (FF).

There is a “huge possibility” of linking up “already green roads in North Clare,” Cllr Joe Killeen (FF) remarked. He pointed to the green road from Mullaghmore to Carron which covers “a huge distance and needs a small bit of an upgrade, people are using it but in very small numbers”.

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