Killykeen is one of the flag-ship attractions in County Cavan and a key local amenity. The opening of the Greenway which links Killeshandra with Killykeen is significant and welcome, as has marketing of Cabu by the Lake in recent months. It also highlights the need for more investment.
Killykeen incorporates Lough Oughter, the River Erne and is surrounded by sites of huge historic importance from Drumlane Abbey, Trinity Island, Clough Oughter Castle and Farnham.
This linking of Killeshandra with Killykeen is vitally important. As well as the economic importance to the Town visitors can also see the historic links such as the the Rath Church. Maximising the tourist potential of Killykeen is key to developing tourism in the Killeshandra area and can build on the work done over the years by individuals and the community in conjunction with Cavan County Council and assist in progressing future plans such as the Killeshandra Camino.
Within the confines of Killykeen more and better walks and more signage are all necessary. The visitor experience needs to be further enhanced. The investment to-date are all welcome but much more is needed.
Fianna Fáil County Councillor, John Paul Feeley has welcomed the official opening of the Cavan Town Urban Greenway marking the completion of a significant investment by Cavan County Council through the Out-Door Recreation Infrastructure Scheme (ORIS).
Over the last number of years I have worked closely with residents in the Carrickane area to secure improvements in terms of footpaths, public lighting and other works for this area of Cavan Town. Officials of Cavan County Council, taking on board these concerns have insured that there has been an ongoing programme of improvement, installing an upgrading footpaths and road surfaces and the widening of Drumlark Bridge to provide footpath has now created a link from the Old Butlersbridge Road, past Loreto College to the Greenway and back throught the grounds of Cavan General Hospital to the Town.
This year the footpath has also been completed around the junction of Golf Links Road and Loreto Road which completes another important piece of the jig-saw.
Phase 1 of the Urban Greenway has created not just a safe area of those living locally but has provided a very beneficial amenity for the wider community.
As work progressing on the planning of Phase 2 of the Greenway, the creation of link up to Keadue Lane and the feasibility study on the extension of the Greenway to Butlersbridge and onwards to Cloverhill, Castlesauderson and linking back to Belturbet and Ballyconnell as part of the Cavan Leitrim Railway Greenway this project will form part of a much larger network of regional importance.
The confirmation of the LIS for 2021 of € 289,254 is marginally up on the € 269,240 allocated in 2020 under the same scheme by Minister Humphreys is more than disappointing. The allocation will barely keep pace with construction inflation and is cold comfort to the over 220 applicants on the waiting list at present.
We have a lot of talk on this issue from the Fine Gael membership of the Council. The latest stunt is to deflect attention from the failure of Minister Humphreys is to try to bring the Minister for Agriculture into the mix. Funding for the LIS, for lanes serving agricultural holdings with residential properties thereon have always been funding by the Department of Transport until the Minister Varadkar abolished the funding entirely and the current stream of funding from the Department of Community & Rural Affairs has only arisen with former Minister Ring started making allocations in 2017.
Despite strong cases made to Minister Ryan and Minister Humphreys nothing meaningful has been done. It is incumbent now on Oireachtas members to make the case for proper sustained funding to address the massive backlog.
Cavan County Council estimate that it would take in the region of € 11 million to clear the list. We need action and a plan for consistent funding this year and over the coming years to get this list down, € 289,254 won’t do much if anything to solve the issue.
Given the recent confirmation that McCarron’s have closed their operation in Cavan Town and very high incidents of Covid-19 per 100,000 of population in the Cavan-Belturbet Municipal District, I am calling on the HSE to urgently open a Walk-in Testing Centre in the Cavan area to help address these high numbers.
The current situation is of huge concern to everyone in the community not just those working directly in McCarrons. The health and well being of all residents is of paramount importance. Urgent action is now needed from the HSE to work with the local community to get these high numbers under control.