Mayor Aengus O’Rourke (FF ) has called for the introduction of design lighting along the promenade in Athlone using the mature trees situated there.
The mayor made the call at last week’s meeting of the Athlone Municipal District.
Commenting on the promenade, Mayor O’Rourke said that any town or city in Ireland would love to have such a feature. As a result, he said it is important to utilise it to its full potential. He added that the mature trees in question lend themselves to the idea of erecting lighting, and that the light reflecting out onto the Shannon’s waters would create yet another attractive feature in the area.
Mayor O’Rourke said when the issue was raised in the past the response was that public lighting along the promenade would be upgraded in conjunction with the construction of the cycleway bridge across the Shannon. However, he said the council should not wait any longer or else the scheme may never happen at all.
The motion received support from around the chamber. Cllr John Dolan (FG ) commended the mayor for raising it. He said it is important that the council uses top of the line decorative lighting in order to make the most of the area.
Director of services, Barry Kehoe also welcomed the motion, saying the promenade has been crying out for such development of years. However, he expressed the opinion that the castle should receive priority in terms of the introduction of public lighting. Every winter the castle, due to the nature and colour of its makeup, disappears with the early evenings. Mr Kehoe said the Government is set to bring forward a scheme with possible funding to invest in lighting for the castle.
He did add that the council will seek designs and undertake a costing of erecting lights along the promenade, and if it is not overly expensive, funding might be allocated in the short term.