Paddling by world class heritage sites
The Boyne Blueway Trim has been officially launched following its achievement of accreditation as a Blueway.
The leas-cathaoirleach of Meath County Counci, Cllr Mike Bray, launched the amenity at the Blueway trailhead on Jonathan Swift Street, Trim.
This marks the opening of an 8km water stretch from Trim to Bective Mill for water activities, suitable for beginners and intermediate level paddlers.
Meath County Council welcomed the accreditation status in April when the Boyne Blueway was among the first three Blueways to gain accreditation at an event which took place by the National Blueway Partnership in Trim.
Blueways are a brand-new outdoor recreation offering currently unique to Ireland. The 8km stretch of Blueway takes about two and a half to three hours to paddle and can be paddled by beginners or those at intermediate level.
This makes it attractive to many and there have been numerous visiting canoe clubs, tourists and those interesting in trying out watersports for the first time.
The Blueway was developed by Meath County Council in partnership with a number of organisations including Meath Local Sports Partnership, Canoeing Ireland, Boyne Valley Tourism, Trim Canoe Club, Boyne Valley Activities, OPW along with local landowners and supported by Fáilte Ireland.
The Boyne Blueway is in line with accreditation criteria and Blueways are now considered best in class destinations for water based and water side activities.
Cllr Bray said: "The Boyne Blueway provides a wonderful opportunity to maximise the potential of the River Boyne for Meath and for visitors. It is important for us as a council to invest in tourism facilities for the greater benefit of our citizens."
He paid tribute to all involved including the Blueway Steering Committee who worked together to achieve accreditation and to the Community Section at Meath County Council for securing funding for the project.
Cllr Aisling Dempsey, chairperson, Boyne Valley Tourism added that the Blueway will tap into international tourism.
"Adventure tourism is worth €1.2bn to the Irish economy. The Boyne Blueway provides immense opportunities for businesses across many sectors within the Boyne Valley to attract the adventure tourist."
At one of his final engagements as Cathaoirleach of Trim MD, Cllr Joe Fox described the amazing experience that a visitor could have of Trim as they paddle the river passing by the world class heritage sites of Trim Castle, Newtown Abbey an Bective Abbey which featured in ‘The Last Duel’ with Matt Damon.
"This Blueway can help to grow tourism, jobs and the local economy by encouraging visitors to linger a little longer in the Boyne Valley and enjoy a water-based activity with Boyne Valley Activities," Cllr Fox said.
Barry Lynch, Deputy Chief Executive, Meath County Council closed the event, saying that: "It is a priority for Meath County Council to support projects that stimulate economic return for local businesses and the local economy and urged businesses to support this initiative. Today is just the beginning of what we can achieve through this Blueway and we look forward to working together to get more of our local people and tourists using the Boyne.”