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Lucan: Developing county’s natural resources
 
Lucan is already popular for water based activities like the Liffey Descent

Plans to develop Lucan as a hub for water-based activities and cycling were among a number of proposed strategies to develop a Liffey Valley Cluster as part of the new South Dublin Tourism Strategy.
The primary goal for South Dublin’s tourism strategy, presented to local councillors on April 13, is to develop the infrastructure, attractions, activities, and facilities of the county’s natural resources.
A series of six clusters and corridors/trails/routes was proposed at the meeting, including the Liffey Valley Cluster – a development that will create a corridor stretching along the Liffey Valley from County Kildare through south Dublin into Dublin City, thereby linking South Dublin with the city’s heart.
Part of this cluster will involve Lucan acting as a hub for water-based activities and cycling. According to the tourism strategy’s report: “Canoeing and kayaking in the Liffey are already popular with Lucan as the central point. The opportunity exists to expand such activities through the provision of upgraded facilities (eg changing rooms at Lucan Demesne) and improved access.
“Lucan would be at the centre of a potential series of cycling loops with access to the Grand Canal via Vesey Park and Griffeen Park, linking to the Royal Canal via Lucan Demesne to St Catherine’s Park.”
Villages adjacent to the Liffey will be featured along the river linking Palmerstown and Lucan with Leixlip and Celbridge, with Lucan serving as the “hub” for the entire cluster.
The focus would be on a quality food offering, village heritage trails and attractive amenity offerings of the riverside parklands and demesnes, with potential spurs to the Royal and Grand canals for longer linear cycling routes.
The establishment of a Liffey Greenway is also a chief proposal of the tourism strategy, which also involves Dublin City, Fingal and Kildare County Councils working with Failte Ireland, the Office of Public Works, the National Transport Authority and other stakeholders on scoping and developing a Liffey Greenway from the City Centre through the Liffey Valley to Celbridge.
The report stated: “The proximity of this potential Greenway corridor to the large domestic and international tourism market in the city centre can make the project sustainable from domestic as well as international tourists.
“The Greenway also presents health, transport and environmental benefits for modal shift from car based to cycling/walking based travel that could serve as a secondary gain.”
Welcoming these proposals, Lucan’s Cllr William Lavelle (FG) told The Gazette: “I am very happy to see these proposals have made the cut and form a key element of the new strategy.
“This represents a breakthrough moment for all who have campaigned to protect the Liffey Valley and to develop it as a publicly accessible amenity.
“Tourism-focused development, carried-out sensitively, has the potential to bring visitors to West Dublin, supporting business and jobs in villages such as Lucan; as well as providing a fantastic recreational amenity for local walkers and families,” he said.
Historian Joe Byrne told The Gazette that tourism initiatives like this would be a “great way” of attracting people into the council’s villages.
He said: “Giving the villages around the county a historical appeal like setting up heritage trails for walking tours and placing plaques around the many interesting buildings and structures that South County Dublin has to offer would be a great way of drawing in tourists.
“There’s a rafting group in Palmerstown that do trips from Lucan right down to Palmerstown and are a big success locally, but promoting that sort of thing on a bigger level would also be a great way of encouraging people to visit,” he said.
A digital copy of the South Dublin Tourism Strategy is available on the council’s website at www.sdcc.ie/services.

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