A call has been made for work to begin on improving the River Swilly in Letterkenny to make it an amenity in the town.
Letterkenny Town councillor Jim Lynch has called on the town council to start work on a small stretch of the river to begin the job of improving the area around it.
The independent councillor told the May meeting of the town council that he had has been trying to have the area around the river improved since 1985, “yet nothing has happened about it”.
“A local business man, now dead, was very anxious to do something and contribute to this,” he said. “Unfortunately the flow of the river in the town is not that attractive but we have it and we should be trying to make something of it. We are living in days of austerity and reality has to set in but what I would like to see in my time is that there would be a start made if only to pick a section of the river and do some environmental improvements on it.”
He would like to see a footbridge to connect the Leck area to the town centre, he said.
Cllr. Gerry McMonagle (SF) seconded the motion saying it was an issue that all councillors had thought about. “We will not be able to finish the job in one go,” he said. Areas close to the river could be improved with the addition of picnic tables to allow people to enjoy the river, he said.
“We need to look at all of that and do only 100 metres initially. We need to make a start and to source funding and set funding aside on a yearly basis to include the river in the community. Let’s make a beginning, pick a section and start the process of turning river into amenity that we can use and enjoy,” he said.
Cllr. Victor Fisher (FF) said funding will be a problem while Cllr. Tom Crossan (Ind) said every town that has won the Tidy Towns competition has a river running through it,” he said.
Mayor Dessie Larkin said that one big issue that has held the river back has been the whole standard of the river and its water quality. The new treatment works would be a huge improvement for the town that will have a big impact on the river, he said.
“We should monitor the water situation to see the progress to see how pristine the water is which would be important in selling this area,” he said.