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Waterways envisions Tullamore harbour as 'a hive of activity'

Thursday, 21 June 2018

Waterways envisions Tullamore harbour as 'a hive of activity' thumbnail

WATERWAYS Ireland is committed to moving out of the Grand Canal harbour in the centre of Tullamore by the end of 2018.
The body envisions the harbour being transformed into a "hive of activity" as a public water amenity which will attract visitors from all the country and overseas.
The renewed commitment on the future of the site was given by the CEO of Waterways Ireland, Dawn Livingstone when she met with the President and council members of Tullamore and District Chamber of Commerce at the harbour on Wednesday evening last.
Last March, Ms Livingstone briefed members of Offaly Co. Council on plans for the harbour in which she revealed a feasibility study on the site's future had been commissioned in partnership with the council.
Last Wednesday's visit was made by Ms Livingstone and a management team from Waterways Ireland headquarters in Enniskillen following an invitation earlier this year by Chamber President, Anne Starling.
Ms Livingstone said Waterways had made progress on identifying sites for its Tullamore depot and a shortlist of suitable locations was in the process of being drawn up.
Most of the harbour site, located off Harbour St and St Bridget's Place, is owned by Waterways Ireland apart and the remainder by Offaly Co. Council.
Ms Livingstone said Waterways plan move its depot close to Tullamore and "hope to do so this year."
“We hope to see this [the harbour] being redeveloped as a focal point where international visitors will come and stay in Tullamore."
She said the harbour was interlinked with Dublin and hoped to see it being developed as a water centred amenity with an emphasis on sports facilities.
Ms Livingstone also speculated on a link between the harbour and Grand Canal docks in Dublin.
“People are travelling from the Midlands into Dublin every day and we could get facilities on site here they could use . . . we could have a mini Grand Canal dock on offer here in Tullamore."
She stressed Waterways will be looking for the support of the Chamber and the council and said they had worked in co-operation with the latter body for many years in the harbour.
Responding to a question from Dominic Doheny, Director General of the Construction Industry Federation and Chamber member, she said Waterways will submit a report on the harbour development later this month in order to meet a National Development Plan funding deadline.
In reply to a further query from local estate agent and Chamber member, John Mollin, Ms Livingstone said Waterways did not intend to sell any buildings in the site.
“There is too much of value here for the council and Waterways Ireland," she stressed.
Speaking to the Tribune later during her walkabout of the harbour, Ms Livingstone said there may be some opportunities for residential development on "a scale that reflected the industrial heritage here."
She pointed to the redevelopment of the Buttermarket in Enniskillen as a reference point.

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