Waterways and grassy towpaths


Sir, – Martin O’Brien (June 24th) seeks to portray Olivia O’Leary as being a lone voice of opposition railing unreasonably against Waterways Ireland’s plans for the Barrow towpath. Nothing, but nothing, could be further from the truth and Mr O’Brien’s assertions would seem to suggest that he is much more familiar with that old river in Egypt, denial, than he is with the goings-on along the Barrow.

The reality is that Olivia O’Leary is the chairwoman of Save the Barrow Line, a 5,000-strong organisation, and growing. We count among our numbers ecology and sustainability experts, cyclists, walkers, joggers, fishing enthusiasts, buggy-bearing families and indeed wheelchair users.

The reality is that Waterways Ireland submitted a planning application to three local authorities earlier this year which was met with unprecedented levels of objection. Of the hundreds of submissions received by Carlow County Council, less than 3 per cent wrote in support of the application. The vast majority do not share Mr O’Brien and Waterways Ireland’s opinion that the towpath and its tourism potential would benefit from being urbanised in the manner proposed. – Yours, etc,



Save the Barrow Line,


Dublin 7.