A larger crowd than expected turned out last Friday evening in the Galway Rowing Club, Woodquay, to plan the future of Galway’s Waterways.
The meeting was attended by members of clubs that use the rivers and canals, the residents who live alongside them, nearby businesses, and institutions such as churches, schools, and monasteries that are next to them.
TDs Noel Grealish and Éamon Ó Cuív lent their support by taking part as did city councillors Frank Fahy, Padraic Conneely, and Colette Connolly.
The public workshop was organised by the Galway Waterways Association as part of the Galway Waterways Initiative.
With an eye to Galway City of Culture 2020 and to link with the hugely successful Wild Atlantic Way promotion from Bord Failte and the Galway’s Green Leaf status the initiative aims to raise awareness of Galway’s rivers and canals, organise volunteer efforts to clean them up and maintain them, and to enhance them for residents, visitors, and the natural environment.
Phil James, chairman of the Galway Waterways Association, told the meeting that “we have five kilometres of waterways that run through the city made up of natural rivers and man-made canals. Most of them are in a poor state.
“They are overgrown with trees, choked with aquatic vegetation, and full of unsightly rubbish. Working together as a community we can create something truly magnificent for our city. The Capital of Culture designation gives us the incentive to do it,” he said.
The Galway Waterways Association will publish results of the workshop shortly and use its conclusions to plan further action. It will work in partnership with the Lough Corrib Trustees, the city administration, and the Office of Public Works to achieve the goals set out in the workshop.
It will also seek to become part of the Capital of Culture project when it is up and running.
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