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Kayak Slipway Along Crosshaven Road Fails to Get Approval

Writes Ciaran Dineen

The search for a new launchpad for budding kayakers will go on after Carrigaline’s Municipal District Office advised against the use of a covered-up slipway, located on the Crosshaven Road.

Recently, local councillors Liam O’Connor (FG) and Seámus McGrath (FF) were contacted by the newly established ‘Paddle the Owenabue’ kayaking group. After making a Facebook group at the start of 2021 to see if there were any kayaking enthusiasts that would like to get out on the Owenabue River, the page now has over 500 members.

Now, every week lots of nearby locals take to the water and paddle along different parts of the river. It has had a real positive impact on the community, with many intrigued to see kayakers travelling upstream and into the heart of the village.

Because of the growing support, local councillors were contacted about a disused slipway along the Carrigaline-Crosshaven road, just across from the 24hr filling station, wondering if it could potentially be opened up so that the kayakers could have a more accessible launch point. Currently many use an area at the back of the community complex, but it can sometimes be a bit of a safety hazard.

At January’s meeting of the Carrigaline Municipal District (MD), Cllr O’Connor brought forward a motion querying whether the slipway could be opened up. A month later, at the latest MD meeting a response was issued from Cork County Council’s Carrigaline office. Concerns were raised regarding traffic, parking and mobility.

Following a site visit to consider the proposal the response read; “Vehicular access at this location is poor. Turning movements at this location with trailers etc. would not be advisable. Parking on the main road at this location would ensue which is not to be encouraged.”

The concerns raised are certainly justified given the impact on the road that could develop if access was given, and while this was acknowledged by councillors, they still called on the need to identify potential launching points, arguing that Carrigaline must begin to use its water features.

“It’s something we really should invest in and something that we should develop,” stated Cllr O’Connor. “The spin-off from it is huge. After the kayaking you have 20 or 30 people coming for coffee and visiting food outlets in the centre of the town”, he added.

MD Chairperson, Aidan Lombard (FG) supported his colleague, arguing that time should go into some sort of investigation that could identify a workable area, as opposed to the councillors themselves picking random sites and needing to wait for a month to get a response.

Councillors Marcia D’Alton (Ind), Seámus McGrath, Ben Dalton O’Sullivan (Ind) and Audrey Buckley (FF) also added to the discussion, which became broader in scope as all agreed that essential for Carrigaline to take advantage of the waterfront. With Cllr D’Alton saying that a ‘shake-up” in thinking was badly needed.

It is likely that councillors will seek to raise this idea again in the near future, with a Framework Plan potentially in the offing.

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