Waterways Ireland have questions to answer over upkeep of Limerick canal

Waterways Ireland is responsible for the upkeep of the Guinness Canal.

LIMERICK Councillors took aim at Waterways Ireland this week for tarnishing one of the jewels in the city’s crown – the Guinness Canal between the city centre and University of Limerick (UL).

At Monday’s Metropolitan District meeting in County Hall, Labour Party councillor Conor Sheehan proposed that the local authority write to the cross-border navigational authority to ask them come before the next monthly meeting.

Cllr Sheehan wants Waterways Ireland to answer questions about the deterioration of the Guinness Canal and to outline the management plans they have for the canal.

Cllr Sheehan maintained that the Council owed Limerick Civic Trust a debt of gratitude for maintaining the waterway in the past. However, he said it was “a crying shame” how this jewel in the crown has now been left behind and forgotten by Waterways Ireland.

According to the City North representative, he has had a number of calls from women who feel unsafe running along the canal bank.

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“They are afraid someone will jump out of the bushes,” he told the council executive.

“I feel like I am howling at the wind, nothing has been been done. We need it maintained. The canal is full of algae, it is a sad and sorry state of affairs.”

Cllr Sheehan also told the council executive that Limerick Civic Trust would be happy to do some maintenance on the canal if they had access to a small room in Park Depot to leave equipment. This, he said, would save them having to “traipse” in and out of town.

Director of the Metropolitan District Kieran Lehane said he took Cllr Sheehan’s comments on board and agreed that the canal should be maintained as a greenway.

“It is the most used greenway in the whole of Limerick. It is a jewel in the crown and it has to be maintained. We will come back to this,” he replied.