No Laois voice on committee caused loss of Barrow Blueway - Cllr Moran

Lynda Kiernan

Reporter:

Lynda Kiernan

No Laois voice on committee caused loss of Barrow Blueway - Cllr Moran

File photo

The lack of any Laois person on the Barrow Blueway committee meant that a 19km Laois section was eliminated from the plan, leaving Kildare and Carlow with all the tourism benefit.
So believes Cllr Aisling Moran who is asking Laois County Council to ensure that there is a Laois councillor on any committees making decisions about tourism or development.
“Projects like the Barrow Blueway, a fantastic project, one that will continue to bring lots of revenue to any county that it passes through for many years to come, camp sites, restaurants, cafes, bars, bike rental, kayak and boat rental, fishing, activity centres.
“We had an opportunity to bring this to a sizeable section of Laois, but due to a lack of public representation at planning and decision making stages, the section from Athy to the Carlow border, 19km of this in Laois did not go ahead.
“Kildare will have the Royal canal Blueway and the Barrow Blueway. I have been continuously asking about this and I’m told that Waterways Ireland might look at it again if Carlow agree.
“Let's look at ways that will get that 19km of track done. That stretch passes many beautiful old bridges and old mills before it ever reaches Carlow town.
“We are the ones living in the area, listening to people on the ground. We have an interest in making things happen in our constituency. We want local businesses to thrive.
“We need to have walking and cycle trails from the Blueway in Vicarstown to Stradbally, to ensure Stradbally gets a share of the pie,” she said.
Her motion to the March council meeting was seconded by by Cllr Noel Tuohy, and supported by Cllr Padraig Fleming who said it was a “terrible pity” that the Laois part of the Barrow river will not get the new path.
The 46km €5million blueway is under construction, to be finished by 2022.