Lough Derg Blueway officially launched by three-county initiative by Clare, Tipperary and Galway

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Ireland has a new tourism attraction – covering three counties – with the launch of the Lough Derg Blueway in Killaloe.
A Blueway is a multi-activity recreational trail on or alongside lakes, canals and rivers with easy access to canoe and bike hire, maps and trail information. With easy access and many starting and finishing points, these trails aim to be family and group friendly for a weekend away or a daily walk. Packages and activities can be found on www.BluewaysIreland.org.
The Blueway involves a partnership between Clare, Tipperary and Galway County Councils, the Lough Derg Marketing Group and Waterways Ireland, and is supported by the Lough Derg communities and businesses.

The Lough Derg Blueway has been officially launched at a special ceremony in Killaloe. Pictured are Reuben Noyce, Lough Derg Watersports; Joe McGrath, chief executive of Tipperary County Council; Dawn Livingstone, chief executive of Waterways Ireland; Kevin Kelly, chief executive, Galway County Council; Eileen Mannion, Cathaoirleach Galway County Council; Pat Dowling, chief executive of Clare, county council; Dr Phyll Bugler, Cathaoirleach Tipperary councty Council; and Tom McNamara, Cathaoirleach Clare county Council. Photos: Eamon Ward

The Lough Derg Blueway has been officially launched at a special ceremony in Killaloe. Pictured are Reuben Noyce, Lough Derg Watersports; Joe McGrath, chief executive of Tipperary County Council; Dawn Livingstone, chief executive of Waterways Ireland; Kevin Kelly, chief executive, Galway County Council; Eileen Mannion, Cathaoirleach Galway County Council; Pat Dowling, chief executive of Clare, county council; Dr Phyll Bugler, Cathaoirleach Tipperary councty Council; and Tom McNamara, Cathaoirleach Clare County Council. Photos: Eamon Ward

The organisers said the Blueway builds on the untapped potential of the existing waterway infrastructure and is enhanced by attractive rural towns and villages of Portumna, Dromineer, Killaloe/Ballina, Scarriff, and Mountshannon.
With 21 individual paddling trails, Lough Derg as the largest lake on the River Shannon offers its own unique Blueway experience. The Lough shore provides achievable paddling, walking and cycling trails including heritage trails with over 90 heritage sites and access to the long distance routes of the East Clare Way and Lough Derg Way.
Waterways Ireland’s Chief Executive, Dawn Livingstone said, “It is the local community groups, individuals and businesses who have come together to provide activity and who will continue to enthusiastically market and promote the Blueway who will ensure it thrives, growing recreation and tourism participation and creating jobs.”
Tom McNamara, Mayor of Clare, said, “Instead of everyone pulling in their own direction, the Blueway sees those involved in the promotion of Lough Derg rowing together – in more ways than one. I am certain that we will not have to wait long to see evidence of the economic benefits that will accrue for tourist operators in this region.” 
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