Writes Ciaran Dineen
The Carrigaline Municipal District (MD) are set to engage in a consultation with Sport Ireland, the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) and Cork County Council’s Planning Department in order to assess potential water-based activities that could take place on the Owenabue River and Estuary.
The news comes following a response to a recent motion at the MD’s monthly meeting by Councillor Liam O’Connor (FG), who called for the development of a framework plan which could identify the potential for activities on the water for years to come.
Cllr O’Connor was informed that the MD will discuss the possibilities with the stakeholders mentioned above and it is hoped that an update can be provided at the May meeting of the district later this year.
O’Connor, who is also Chairperson of Carrigaline Tidy Towns, has long been an advocate for a plan to be put in place for the Owenabue River and how the Council could take advantage of it for social and economic value. A number of other Councillors have consistently argued that the wider Harbour Area has massive potential to be developed into a tourist amenity attraction and that the local authority must provide a framework plan to get the ball rolling.
There is now more of an appetite than ever to create opportunities for water activities on the Owenabue given the recent increase in kayaking on the river, led by the Paddle The Owenabue local community group. With lots of activity taking place on the water since the start of the year, possibly initiated due to the 5km travel limit, it seems that the area is experiencing somewhat of a ‘kayak fever’, with more and more people seemingly having the desire to join in and have some fun on the water.
Cllr O’Connor has welcomed the news that a dialogue has commenced on the subject, telling The Carrigdhoun Newspaper, “I am delighted that Carrigaline Municipal District, as a result of two motions to Cork County Council and many discussions, will consult with Sport Ireland, the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) and with internal Council stakeholders in the Council’s Planning Department and Coastal Management Unit, to assess the scope for development of, and investment in, waterbased activities on the Owenabue and Owenabue estuary."
"A plan to realise the potential of the river and estuary i.e. water sports, kayaking etc. is essential to develop water activities in the area over the coming years. I have been kayaking on the Owenabue and Estuary for a number of years and it is great to see more and more people, especially in the last 6 months, utilise this wonderful natural amenity.”