Council to spend €18,000 on maintenance of River Erkina

Woodenbridge Paddlers canoe club have welcomed a decision by County Hall to spend €18,000 cleaning the River Erkina near their base.

Woodenbridge Paddlers canoe club have welcomed a decision by County Hall to spend €18,000 cleaning the River Erkina near their base.

Chairman of the club Michael G Phelan is delighted the work will be done.

“There needs to be a lot of work done, but this should make some bit of dint in it. We are going to meet with engineers on site and draw up a programme,to be carried out in late August,” he said.

He says the money will not be spent on surveys, as these have already been done.

The section of the river to be cleared lies between Durrow and the wooden bridges, 5km upstream, where the canoe club is based.

The area is a natural flood plain, but debris and overgrowth have added to the problem in recent years, preventing water from flowing downstream quickly enough.

“Last year it was saturated from June to September. It has been a long time since maintenance was done, maybe forty years,” said Mr Phelan.

Laois County Council will do the work themselves. Recently they put lifebouys at the stretch, popular for swimming and watersports.