Gary Slevin, the chairman of the Limerick Kayak Academy on the water
A KAYAKING facility is planned for the banks of the River Shannon, the Limerick Leader can reveal.
The voluntary Limerick Kayaking Academy (LKA) is proposing the development at the Shannon Fields park in Corbally.
If it gets permission from council planners, the facility will include a 250 square metre hard-stand, perimeter fence and prefabricated storage unit to facilitate the on-river kayaking.
Secretary of the academy Garry Cosgrove said a city facility would be “the missing piece of the puzzle” for kayaking in Limerick, with the group already securing grant funding and committed to raising the balance thereafter.
“LKA which is a one hundred percent volunteer club, has a suite of qualified instructors and kayaking equipment, who are not just willing, but are enthusiastically looking forward to giving their time and years of experience to increase participation in the sport. The missing piece of the puzzle is the availability of a kayaking sports facility in Limerick, a facility that is available to all of Limerick and any member of any community, a facility which is available within walking or cycling distance from Limerick city,” he explained.
Mr Cosgrove said talks with the council have been going in since November 2019, when they presented their plans.
“While initially various positions were examined, they very kindly offered an opportunity to seek planning permission in Shannon Fields, Corbally, Limerick. On the December 2, 2020 we had a preplanning discussion with Limerick City and County Council’s planning department on the proposal for the new development,” he confirmed.
The academy has completed an environmental screening given how close the site would be to the riverside Special Area of Conservation.
And the planning application was formally submitted to the local authority on April 21 last.
If the project gets the go ahead – a decision is due by mid-June – Mr Cosgrove predicts kayaking could be “the next Limerick sporting success”.
LKA runs an all-year-round kayaking programme, with around 30 club members each weekend enjoying the water.
The club takes part in national competitions and fun events too, while also raising money for local charities including over €6,600 for Rape Crisis Mid-West last year.