THE development of a blueway along the Bandon river between Bandon and Kinsale has the potential to boost tourism numbers to the region.
Cllr Kevin Murphy (FG) raised a motion at a recent meeting of Bandon Kinsale Municipal District asking that Cork County Council investigate the development of a blueway between Bandon and Kinsale. Blueways are a network of multi activity recreation trails for boating enthusiasts and kayakers based on or near rivers, lakes or canals. The River Ilen Blueway between Baltimore and Skibbereen and the Bantry Blueway have proven to be very popular with tourists.
‘I know quite well that there’s a section of the Bandon river that may not be suitable for a blueway but it’s only fair that we have an investigation anyway and come back with a report because it’s the way to go,’ said Cllr Murphy.
‘It has huge potential from a tourism aspect of it and without a shadow of a doubt this is something that both towns would benefit from.’
Cllr Rachel McCarthy (SF), seconded the motion and acknowledged that work is already being done on this by council staff.
‘We’ve always said the Bandon river is one of our key assets in this Municipal District which we completely underutilise,’ said Cllr McCarthy.
Municipal District Officer, Enda O’Halloran said that he and a colleague had been investigating sites along the river to launch from.
He highlighted the fact that the majority of sites are council owned but that there are some sites in Innishannon where ownership is not known and they would follow these up with their legal department.
‘We were suggesting that we would make a three-stage blueway, one would be fast water between Bandon to Innishannon, one would be estuary slow water from Innishannon to Kilmacsimon and an inner harbour one finishing at Summercove,’ said Mr O’Halloran.
Cllr Alan Coleman (Ind) welcomed the motion as he said it appears that blueways are flavour of the month in terms of funding, but added that it appears some of the land issues at the back of some houses on the Main Street, Innishannon, are unsolvable.
Cllr McCarthy added that the land ownership would have to be 100% sorted before Cork County Council would touch it and Mr O’Halloran added that it could progress quickly if ownership issues are solved.