Wednesday, 29 May 2019
Saincheisteanna Tráthúla - Topical Issue Debate
Inland Waterways Maintenance
Positive work is being done at Meelick weir. It was damaged by floods in 2009 which caused much damage. While the work being done is welcome, it was needed to be done long before now.
The weir is a crossing point on the Shannon on an important walkway, the Beara-Breifne Way, which runs from Breifne in Leitrim to the Beara Peninsula, straight through Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands. It is important it is kept open. I know there is difficulty with doing the work outside of the summer period with the possibility of damage to the fisheries. The problem is that people using the walkway have not been informed it is closed. Many businesses, particularly tourism businesses, are directing people up the walkway as far as the bridge but they cannot cross it. Over the past several days, some tourists could not cross the river at the point. Perhaps a solution could be found to reroute users through an alternate route or have the footbridge open for certain periods of the day to enable people on hiking holidays in the region to get across it.
A simple solution can be found. I put it down as a Topical Issue matter because it was raised by the area’s Councillor Dermot Connolly with me. He told me it is a simple matter that could be resolved if raised at the right level. I trust the Minister or someone in the Department would be able to have a word with the Office of Public Works to find a solution to accommodate the work that needs to be done which is valuable and welcome, as well as accommodating the tourism industry to ensure the walkway is kept open.