Cllr John Paul Feeley (FF).

Shannon navigation extension towards Dowra welcomed

Waterways Ireland has established a team of experts to examine the possibility of extending the Shannon navigation north of Lough Allen towards Dowra. The development has been welcomed by local Fianna Fáil Councillor, John Paul Feeley.

“This is a plan that has been ‘on again, off again’ over the years. We had the major disappointment of having the planning application refused some years ago. We now have confirmation that we are back under consideration with confirmation that ecological consultants are to complete an Environmental Impact Assessment Report and potential engineering design solutions are to be worked on this year,” he said.

Earlier this year Waterways Ireland informed the Celt that a tender package is being prepared to engage an ecological consultant to complete an EIAR assessment on the overall the project.

These studies, along with potential engineering design, will be progressed for assessment throughout 2024.

The proposal is in line with the water body’s Strategic Initiatives, as outlined in its Shannon Tourism Masterplan, which is actively looking at measures to further enhance Lough Allen and the surrounding communities.

Cllr Feeley said he has “lobbied consistently” regarding the navigation extension with Deputy Brendan Smith and Leitrim colleagues, Cllrs Mary Bohan and Paddy O’Rourke.

“Getting a link to the Shannon Navigation to the first village on the Shannon would have a major and positive impact on Dowra,” said Cllr Feeley.

“We have seen the difference that the Shannon Erne Waterway has made to towns and villages along the course of the navigation. Getting boats up to Dowra will create a destination to bring more people through Drumshanbo and on to Lough Allen.”