*Flowers at the Tradaree building in Newmarket-on-Fergus.
DEVELOPMENT of an outdoor adventure project in Newmarket-on-Fergus is the first step in making the village “the Adare of Clare”.
Under the Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme (ORIS), funding of €286,500 was announced for three Clare projects. Of this amount, €180,000 is for the Newmarket-on-Fergus walking trail, €56,500 is for Ballinruan Bog Walk and €50,000 for the Ballyalla Lake Amenity Enhancement Plan.
Community Development Officer with Obair in Newmarket-on-Fergus, Siobhan O’Driscoll explained that the progress of the trail has been sphearheaded through local collaboration. The accessible walking trail will run from O’Regan Park to Lough Gash before linking with the Mid Clare Way.
This is part of bigger aspirations for the village, she outlined. “This is part of a big plan to rejuvenate Newmarket-on-Fergus and make it the Adare of Clare. We have Dromoland and Bunratty Castle, now we are going to have the walking trail and we want to encourage more businesses to open on our main street”. O’Driscoll believed visitors to Bunratty Castle and Dromoland Castle, both of which are in the parish of Newmarket would be enticed to the village thanks to the trail.
Ballyalla’s inclusion comes on the back of the recently completed 7km loop walk which it received €40,000 for. Chair of the Ballyalla Blue Flag Working Group, Cllr Johnny Flynn (FG) is to propose before the December meeting of the Ennis Municipal District that the first phase of works focus on upgrades and raise “if necessary sections of dangerous footpaths around the lakeshore areas which often flood in winter”.
A timber board walk is to be developed in Ballinruan, Clare TD, Cathal Crowe (FF) remarked, “I’ve seen these in other parts of the country and they work extremely well. They are simple but very effective”.
Deputy Crowe added, “Outdoor facilities are massively valuable for people to have in their localities – not only for those living locally to get out and enjoy them but also in terms of attracting visitors from further afield”.