15th October

Bantry Bay 'blueway' adventure trail

Munster's first 'blueway' will take paddlers on a 2km, 6km or 9km water trail around Bantry Bay in West Cork, starting at Abbey Slipway and taking in Whiddy Island, Reenbeg Point and return, via Railway Pier. Paddlers can choose from three trails - beginners, intermediate and advanced. 

Bantry Blue Way

John Mullins, Chairman Bantry Bay Port Company; Michael Murphy, Deputy Harbour Master Bantry Bay Port Company; Cllr Joe Carroll, Deputy County Mayor; Dr Vera O'Donovan, FLAG; Capt Paul O’Regan, Harbour Master Bantry Bay Port Company and Brendan Keating, CEO Bantry Bay Port Company

Blueways are described as water paths or trails for canoeists, paddle boarders and kayakers, developed with launch points, camping locations and points of interest  to encourage recreation, ecological education and preservation of wildlife resources.

John Mullins, chair of Bantry Port Company, said the project would showcase the beauty of Bantry Bay and West Cork "in a safe and friendly environment" and would positively impact the local economy. "With the market for adventure and marine tourism on the rise...Bantry is in a prime position to benefit from this trend."

Josephine O'Driscoll, Fáilte Ireland, said the Wild Atlantic Way was all about "immersive and interative activities" that allowed visitors to experience Ireland's rugged and beautiful landscapes.

The project is supported by BIM's South West Fisheries Local Action Group (FLAG) which Vera O'Donovan explained brought together elements of their local strategy of supporting marine leisure infrastructure:

"This allows people to access the marine resource for leisure but also appreciate the role of fishing and aquaculture to the economy of Bantry. We hope this initiative will serve as a template for similar projects in the southwest, and bring economic benefits to coastal communities."

The project had been developed in partnership with Waterways Ireland, the Irish Sports Council National Trails Office, Canoeing Ireland, BIM and Fáilte Ireland. 

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