Plan for River Shannon greenway
A new greenway which will run along the entire length of the River Shannon is to be developed, and efforts are also taking place to create a walkway along the Nenagh River to Dromineer.
Construction on a section of the proposed Shannon Greenway, which is set link Scariff to Limerick, could begin by 2023, it has been revealed.
Éanna Rowe, Regional Manager with Waterways Ireland, has said that the River Shannon Greenway to extend from Limerick to Roscommon/Leitrim will form an integral element of a new tourism masterplan for the Shannon, which is due to be published shortly.
“We’re working within [Fáilte Ireland’s] Hidden Heartlands brand and, to that end, we’ve just completed the Shannon Tourism Masterplan,” Mr Rowe stated. “We hope to publish the plan in February. It’s the first time there has been a single unitary plan for the Shannon, from any perspective. We’ve had our full round of consultations and have a really exciting ten-year strategy ahead of us now for the development of the Shannon from a tourism perspective.”
Mr Rowe outlined progress currently being made in three areas in relation to the Shannon Greenway. Close to the source of the river, Roscommon and Leitrim County Councils and Coillte are working with Waterways Ireland to link Lough Key Forest Park through Boyle to Carrick-on-Shannon. That part of the greenway is set to link to the exiting Shannon Blueway, a cycle and walkway, which connects to 100km of canoe trails.
In the mid-Shannon, Longford, Westmeath and Offaly County Councils are working with Waterways Ireland and Bord na Móna to link Lanesboro to Clonmacnoise. This section of the greenway will also link directly to the Royal Canal Greenway and the Grand Canal Greenway.
In the Lough Derg area, Mr Rowe outlined how it is hoped that planning permission will be sought next year for the Scariff to Limerick element of the greenway. “Over time, we would hope to link Scariff to Portumna and possibly into the spur which is going to go from Athlone across to Galway,” he added.
He said the aim was to link the greenway to the existing Lough Derg Blueway, which is 180km of canoe trails with 21 individual canoe journeys on it.
Meanwhile, other river walks planned for the Lough Derg area include extending the existing walk along the Nenagh River the entire length to the mouth of the waterway where it meets Lough Derg. Fianna Fáil TD Jackie Cahill has listed this as one of his projects, while Independent Nenagh councillor Hughie McGrath is hoping to extend the existing Nenagh River walk as far Tyone Bridge, and incorating a wetlands area and dog park on the stretch.