Happy trails as hard work gives river walk a new lease of life

Champion Chatter

COMMUNITY endeavour is heading in the right direction in O’Briensbridge the place a bunch of native volunteers have labored onerous to clear scrub from a well-liked Looped Stroll.

A number of months in the past, the 2 kilometre walkway from the playground in O’Briensbridge had grow to be so overgrown the hole between each side had decreased all the way down to about 12 inches in some locations.

Scrub, briars and branches of timber had been making it extraordinarily troublesome for 2 individuals to stroll aspect by aspect, significantly any grownup with a baby’s buggy.

Nevertheless, now the hole on this walkway is about 5 foot vast, which offers pedestrians with nice consolation as they benefit from the splendid view of the River Shannon.

The floor of the walkway shall be considerably improved over the approaching week with the addition of black rolled crushed stone, which is similar to tarmacadam.

In September 2019, Waterways Eire needed to shut part of this walkway briefly to restore two bridges that had fallen into dangerous disrepair.

When individuals stopped utilizing the walkway for a interval through the Covid-19 restrictions, it turned overgrown and nearly unusable.

John Slattery, who was the primary organiser of the clearing work, recalled he obtained along with Jack Byrnes and Noel Enright to take away scrub from the primary to the second arch.

An attraction on social media resulted in about six to eight individuals clearing overgrown grass and scrub for about two hours on six successive Tuesday nights.

Those that had been actively concerned regularly included John Slattery, Paul Slattery, Noel Enright, Shane Kirwan, Jack Kirwan, T J Burns, Tommy O’ Brien, Des Tobin, Paul Nolan, Jack Byrnes, Shane Byrnes and Joe McArthur.

With part one now accomplished, this group has began clearing bushes from O’Brienbridge to Parteen Weir as a part of their plan for the second part, whereas the third part includes clearing any overgrown sections from Clonlara so far as the Erinagh Lough with the assistance of the Clonlara Growth Group subsequent 12 months.

One man travels from Annacotty to make use of the walkway every day, which was initially developed by the late Mick Murtagh, a former O’Briensbridge Group Group chairman.

John Slattery praised the contribution of everybody who has participated within the walkway clearing because the first week in June.

“We had images of individuals strolling and the grass was popping out in opposition to them. You couldn’t use the walkway on a moist day. The grass had grown a few foot and a half excessive and it was mendacity out on the walkway. The walkway was almost closed. It will have been a pity to lose it.

“Now, two or three individuals can stroll side-by-side and push a buggy if they need.

“It’s nice to have the assist of Waterways Eire who could use this walkway as a part of the proposed Limerick to Scariff Greenway.”

He additionally needs to clear weeds and scrub from the stone wall that slops alongside the canal close to the bridge, which has grow to be overgrown.

The group is planning to conduct extra clearance work on Saturdays for numerous weeks.

Years in the past, he recalled if anybody stood on the bridge they might see this stone wall earlier than it turned lined in inexperienced vegetation.

Rural and neighborhood growth officer, Seamus Murrihy and Arlene White from Clare Walks Restricted helped members of the group to safe a €13,000 leisure grant.

Mr Murrihy visited O’Briensbridge lately the place he inspected the work accomplished by the native volunteers.

Mr Slattery confirmed Waterways Eire has pledged to work in co-operation with the group by helping them of their neighborhood endeavours to finish restore work that they’ll’t do.

Waterways Eire is ready to refurbish the six data indicators which have fallen into disrepair and to restore a bit of the stone alongside the river financial institution that was cracked following numerous dangerous flooding incidents.

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