Building Bridges: Ballymahon in line for major tourism drive

Council plans for footbridge over River Inny

Jessica Thompson

Reporter:

Jessica Thompson

Email:

jessica.thompson@longfordleader.ie

Ballymahon

A new footbridge will link the Ballymahon and Forgney sides of the River Inny

Longford County Council is seeking planning permission in Ballymahon for the construction of a footbridge over the River Inny at Clooneen and Newcastle, Ballymahon.

This footbridge is the latest plan for improvement in the area ahead of the opening of Center Parcs next year.

At a meeting of the Ballymahon Municipal District this evening, local councillors discussed intentions to apply for funding through the Town and Village Enhancement Scheme to bring plans for this new amenity to life.

"This footbridge over the River Inny is something that came about from the very original consultation when Center Parcs was announced in Ballymahon," explained Chairman of the Ballymahon Municipal District, Cllr Paul Ross.

"Some of the locals mentioned that it would be great to rebuild the white bridge which connected both sides of the River Inny - the Forgney side and the Ballymahon side.

"And from that, the County Council ran with it; Coillte ran with it, and Center Parcs ran with it. And we're at a stage now where we're seeking planning for this bridge, funding is being sought through Town and Village Enhancement and we hope that this funding will be in place in the next few months and the job will be started next year.

"So it's very, very significant news. It's more of a tourist aspect to the park than anything else. It won't be touching Center Parcs but the longterm plan is to link up the walks surrounding Center Parcs and then the walk we also propose from Newcastle Woods back to the Royal Canal. And this is the link over the River Inny. So it will be a tourist feature in itself."

Ultimately, the council is hoping to bring the walkway from the Royal Canal up through Ballymahon town, which will then link to Newcastle Woods via a new walkway that the council hope to run along the River Inny.

"So it's great news that it's going to planning as mentioned here today and that the funding is forthcoming, we're hoping, through Town and Village Enhancement," Cllr Ross concluded.