Angling facility and walkway opened
The ESB, in association with Waterways Ireland, Inland Fisheries Ireland and Lecarrow Tidy Towns Association, officially opened a new wheelchair accessible walkway and angling facility at Lecarrow Harbour on Monday.
The work had begun in 2018 following an agreement with the adjoining landowners to create the amenity along the Lecarrow canal.
The Lecarrow canal is situated adjacent to Lecarrow village. It was first constructed in the 1840s, and it is now a pivotal boat mooring point for pleasure crafts using Lough Ree. The channel itself is 1.5km in length, and is situated between the Lecarrow River and Blackbrink Bay on Lough Ree.
Speaking at Monday’s official opening in Lecarrow, Manager of ESB Fisheries, Tom Moran said: “I hope that this new angling facility will be enjoyed by the local community and will also attract both coarse and pike anglers from further afield, bringing increased tourist numbers to Lecarrow Village and the surrounding area”.
Lecarrow Tidy Towns chairperson Patsy Beades described it as a “dream day” for Lecarrow.
“We hope everyone will enjoy the natural surroundings and wildlife of this beautiful walkway and fishing stands. This walkway wouldn’t have been developed only for the very goodwill of our local farmers and landowners. We as a committee greatly appreciate their generosity and cooperation. Community spirit is very much alive in Lecarrow and long may it continue!” she said, adding that the new fishing stands would be “much safer” for anglers.
Suzanne Campion, Inland Fisheries Ireland’s commercial manager said: “Inland Fisheries Ireland is delighted to see fisheries development going on anywhere but the most sustainable are those developed in partnership with communities.
“Angling brought in 446,000 people to Ireland in 2014 when we did our last survey and anglers are known to stay longer and spend more in an area when they come. This type of facility, which has fantastic access and can be used into the shoulder season for tourism, can bring a little bit more life to a community.
“Lastly, disabled angling is a fantastic pastime and an access for all fishery is a wonderful addition to any community,” she said.
Local councillor Laurence Fallon welcomed the development of the first phase of the project.
“It’s a lovely walkway down by the canal and this is the first phase. It will be a huge contribution to the walks that already exist (in Co. Roscommon) and it’s wonderful that local farmers, ESB and Inland Fisheries are all working together for the betterment (of the area) and to allow the movement of people,” he said.
Cllr. Fallon also paid tribute to the Lecarrow Tidy Towns Association for their hard work down through the years and for helping to bring this project to fruition.
The new walkway is approximately 700m in length and as well as fishing stands it also boasts a sit-down area made out of local stone. It is hoped to extend the walkway further in the future.