LIMERICK should take a leaf out of London’s book and promote Ireland’s “Queen of Rivers” according to councillor Pat Kennedy.
Speaking at this week’s transport committee meeting, the Fine Gael southside member said that in order that future generations appreciate the River Shannon, more work and investment is needed from City Hall.
Citing the spectacular show on the River Thames in London to mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, Cllr Kennedy asked: “Why can we not do more with what is the Queen of Rivers in the Shannon? There does not seem to be anyone interested. We have seen the way the Brits make the best use of the River Thames. We need to do something about this. If we want the younger generation to be proud of the Shannon, we must start doing something about this.”
He called for Waterways Ireland to address City Council on its plans to make the River Shannon attractive to tourists.
Carrying on the theme, Fianna Fail’s City East councillor Kieran O’Hanlon added: “If the Shannon is the Queen of Rivers, the jewel in the crown is the Park Canal. Unfortunately, it has died a sudden death. I would like to see a report on this.”
Acting transport director of service pointed out to Cllr O’Hanlon that funding had been set aside under the Smarter Travel scheme to develop a cycle path from the start of the canal in Corbally to the University of Limerick.
Transport committee chairman, Cllr Ger Fahy, said that while more promotion needs to be done on the Shannon, the situation is much better than it was previously.
Recalling an architect’s visit to Limerick some years ago, Cllr Fahy said: “He was shocked that despite the fact Shannon is such a magnificent natural asset, Limerick was turning its back on it. We did open the Shannon to the whole city. We now need to continue to maximise the attraction of the Shannon. It is a major asset, and we need to ensure we promote it.”
It was Cllr Kennedy who asked that issues around land, air and water transportation be discussed at every transport committee meeting.
Fine Gael’s leader on the council Diarmuid Scully suggested a different topic from the three be discussed at each meeting.
Cllr Kennedy called on Transport Minister Leo Varadkar to visit City Hall and discuss what can be made of the Shannon.