Given that Athy is exempt for the new EMP mooring charge introduced by Waterways Ireland; several boats have now taken up a permanent residence in the town. Welcoming this, members of the North Barrow branch have installed new mooring posts on the west bank of the Barrow just below the main town bridge. While much work is still being carried out on these moorings to enhance the accessibility of the area, visitors failing to find a berth on the jetty are encouraged to moor here. It is also planned to secure another floating jetty for the west bank of the river in the near future. In this regard, the branch would like to hear from individuals or companies that can assist with this undertaking. Those that might be able to help are asked to contact Cliff Reid on 087-2061999.
While the branch is glad to report no incidences of vandalism or interference over the summer, members have been made aware of break-in’s happening in other locations throughout the country during this period. Therefore, a new CCTV system has been acquired for the floating jetty in Athy. It is hoped that this will further add to the security of the area and provide peace of mind to those leaving their vessels moored long-term. This was introduced in light of the fact that several boat owners using the jetty hail for counties such as Wicklow, Kilkenny and Laois; and therefore not always on-hand locally.
Branch members have also been busy networking with several agencies to enhance the use of the entire waterways stretch under their remit. To this end, a specific conference was hosted by Kildare County Council and Outdoor Tourism Kildare with the objective of bringing together stakeholders from across several agencies including Failte Ireland and Waterways Ireland, along with local groups representing all users of the waterways. This proved very successful and has resulted in strategic plans being established for the further development of the entire area.
Lastly, members of the North Barrow branch and several other waterways based stakeholders have formed a very active online community. Through the use of Facebook, the community shares ideas, experiences and suggestions in the hope that we will all benefit from the further development of our waterways. The online community is open to the public and everyone is welcome to participate. Members of IWAI that are on Facebook are very welcome to join us at www.facebook.com/athywaterways