Category Archives: Anglo Celt 2013

Tree planting to further enhance the almost completed river bank project

Sean McMahon

The community enhancement project at the section of the river Inny which flows between two bridges in Ballyjamesduff, is nearing completion and the transformation is pretty spectacular.

A dedicated team of people has worked hard to ensure that the project is being completed to a high standard. A footbridge has been put in place and a paved walk area. A stone wall has been constructed to keep the upper river bank in place and it has been back filled with clay.

A timber fence has also been constructed as part of the project and affords a nice backdrop, with potential for enhancement in the future. A picnic bench has also been placed on the decking. To enhance the biodiversity of the area, seven trees were planted towards the end of last week, including weeping willow and weeping birch and alder.

The team who have seen the project through to this stage include Kevin Fox, assistant chairperson of the Tidy Towns, Gerry Smith, Brendan Fox, Brian Slowey, Paddy McInerney, Tommy Tracey, Harry Brant, Sean McInerney, Eileen Lynch, treasurer, Rosemary Galligan and Susan Willis, chairperson of the Tidy Towns. FAS workers also helped to clean the river.

Susan Willis says that the team were fortunate to avail of Tommy O’Neill’s expertise; he volunteered to help and put his machinery at the committee’s disposal. They were also fortunate to have access to Aidan O’Reilly’s yard to store materials during the works and also Sean McBride’s yard on the other side of the river.

“We had so much stuff there at one point, including backfill, stones, that we required those yards,” she told the Celt.

The final touches will be put to the transformation of this Inny River stretch this week, courtesy of the team putting creepers in place and completing the various painting jobs.


Susan Willis says the lower bank of the river will have to be left for a while to let nature take its course. It is not feasible to plant anything on that area, as the rising level of the river would take it away. Time will allow the natural grasses to return to knit the bank in place.

Consideration is being given to putting a weir in place in the future and more stones to be placed on either side of the river, to enhance the flow and create more oxygen in the water.

“We have completed what we are going to do aesthetically – the other works are designed to nurture the river itself – that will be an ongoing project. We will continue to liaise with the Fisheries people on this project”, said Susan.

Work on a pathway along the side of the River Inny is well advanced

River Inny project sees radical transformation

By Jenny McGovern

Two weeks have passed since The Celt checked in on the ambitious development project of a section of the River Inny and we are delighted to report that the area has undergone a vast transformation. The recent heatwave hasn’t prevented  Ballyjamesduff Tidy Towns team from their work on the River Inny project.

An attractive stone wall has been built, which banks the area, and paving slabs have been laid to create a neat pathway running parallel to the river. Work has also begun on building a decking area to the rear corner of the project site, this area will be surrounded by some willow or alder trees and will perhaps incorporate a bench or a picnic area.

The measurements for the bridge have been taken and local iron monger Eoin McCough is tasked with the job of creating the framework for the bridge which the team will then cover with timber sidings. It is expected that work on the bridge will be ready by Friday, July 26. Susan Willis, Chairperson of Ballyjamesduff Tidy Towns commends the volunteers who have worked tirelessly from this project’s inception, but particularly those who have toiled throughout the recent heatwave.

“The local FAS members were such a great help to us,” enthused Susan. “Over the past two weeks they have turned their hand to everything, and were especially instrumental in clearing the river of the remaining debris.”

The stretch of the River Inny the team is working on has a sluggish flow. However Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI), has given Susan advice on improving the flow and fish population of the river. These recommendations include the building of weirs, the planting native wild grasses and deciduous, indigenous shrubs and also narrowing the width of the river.

“The desired situation for this stretch of river is to speed up the water; this would in turn increase oxygen levels for the fish and help to flush out any trapped sediment,” Brenda Montgomery, (IFI) environmental protection officer explained. “Following our suggestion the team have already installed a V-notched weir using timber sleepers at the point where the river looks upstream. This weir will create a better fall of water which will increase the flow of water downstream.”

Brenda has also suggested that a layer of stones be placed in the area between the first bridge and the new footbridge. “This would act as a bank reinforcement and also have a narrowing effect on the width of the river which will increase the flow downstream and increase oxygen levels in the water.”


The team wish to keep the area as natural as possible and Brenda has recommended that they plant some wild grasses on the river slope, as these will grow over time and provide shelter for wildlife. It is hoped that trout parr will begin to populate the river once these measures are in place.

With the August 10 deadline drawing ever nearer, they hope to have the decking area and benches installed, and the new footbridge slotted in to place by July 26. Beautifying the area with various indigenous trees, shrubs and grasses, is the final phase and topsoil will be delivered this week.

anglo celt

Good progress reported on River Inny development

Jenny McGovern

The Tidy Towns committee’s ambitious clean-up project of a section of the River Inny in Ballyjamesduff is well underway, the Celt can report. Progress of the project is being charted and championed by the Celt under the Get-Involved Community Initiative Thanks to some ingenious thinking by the team the previously inaccessible area beside the river has now been cleared and levelled.
Volunteers Harry Brant, Kevin Fox and Sean McInerney assisted in laying old railway sleepers across the river which allowed Tommy O’Neill to cross in his digger. Speaking of the task, Susan Willis chairperson of the Tidy Towns committee said, “Because the place had years of overgrowth, there had been no access to that area, Tommy had to clear a path with the digger. It was a massive undertaking and he did a wonderful job.”
Now that the area has been cleared the team is awaiting a delivery of stone in order for them to build a three foot high wall that will bank the area, they will also incorporate large slabs of stone to form a path.
There are plans to erect a half-moon shaped wooden bridge across the river which will become a stunning focal point for both visitors and locals. The footings for this bridge are in place and a local iron monger will be taking measurements early this week. The bridge will be built off-site and then slotted into place when completed.


A representative from Inland Fisheries Ireland has also visited the project site and is happy with the work that has been carried out so far.

“They have suggested that we leave the large boulders and natural grasses in the river as they will encourage fish and other wildlife to populate the area,” Susan explains.
The team wish to keep the area as natural as possible and will plant trees at the site. On consultation with a horticulturist they have decided upon alder or willow trees, as they thrive in areas with wetter conditions. Initial plans for a colourful mural on the nearby wall had to be scrapped. Upon further inspection of the wall the plaster was deemed unsuitable for painting. Susan tells The Anglo Celt “As the plaster is crumbling away, the mural would only last twelve months, we want something that will be a permanent fixture and so we are considering mounting some trellises against the wall.” There are also plans to add some colour and vibrancy to the area with the addition of hanging baskets.


All of the work for this project is being done on a voluntary basis and the team of workers should be commended for the effort they have displayed thus far.
Local business owner Aidan O’Reilly has provided the use of his yard for storage and Tommy O’Neill, a builder by trade has been supervising the foundation plans to ensure the safety of the project.The team spirit is evident and Susan stresses that none of this would be possible without the cooperation of everyone involved.
“Any spare time we have we’re down here working, it’s a very enjoyable experience and it’s great to be able to do something for your town,” says Kevin Fox, assistant chairperson of the committee. With the current spell of good weather on their side the team are confident that the clean-up project will be completed by the August 10 deadline.

Clean up of Ballyjamesduff river to be championed by Celt

Ambitious river project to be completed by August. Ballyjamesduff has a proud Tidy Towns record having won the competition in 1966 and 1967 and the Tidy Towns Committee. Now under the guidance of Susan Willis, chairperson, a dynamic team of dedicated people are determined to get the town back to being major contenders for that crown once again.

As part of this, the committee have exciting plans to transform an overgrown section of the River Inny that passes through the picturesque town. For their immediate project they have chosen to enhance the short section between two bridges. Having viewed this unique stretch of river and evaluated the plans for its transformation, The Anglo-Celt is delighted to champion this community initiative.

Chairperson of the Tidy Towns Committee Susan Willis says the project will include cleaning up the bank on both sides of the river. They intend to plant flowers and plants to greatly enhance the environment and the river at that location.

The team has already spoken to people in the Fisheries to ascertain the best type of plants to use at the location, taking into account the bio-diversity and the insects present along the river. It is envisaged that the planting will take place on the side with the steep slope.

There is a ledge on the opposite bank of the river and consideration is being given to putting a small platform in place at one area, to facilitate a bench, where people out for a stroll could sit by the river.

“We would also like to put up an information plaque, to inform people about the type of fish that can be found in the river”, said Susan. The River Inny flows into Lough Sheelin and it would be great to see some young people who are interested in fishing, trying their luck at this location.

Waste removal

The removal of all waste material and blockages from the river will also form part of the project, a substantial undertaking.

One of the bridges form part of the streetscape in Market Street and Susan Willis points out that the project also includes plans to hang baskets of flowers along the river, making use of the infrastructure that’s in place.

Consideration is also being given to putting a mural in place which would depict an angler enjoying a days’ fishing. The main aim of all the plans in the project is to realise this unique area’s full potential.

Approximately 16 Tidy Towns members meet on a weekly basis to carry out the ongoing enhancement tasks in and around the town. As a result, the town has been gaining points over the past 10 years in the competition. “We are going in the right direction, slowly but surely”, concluded Susan Willis.

Long time business man in the town, Aidan O’Reilly, proprietor of the Gala Supermarket and member of the Tidy Towns Committee told The Anglo-Celt that it is lovely to have a feature in a town, particularly including water. The enhancement of an area like this prevents rubbish being dumped at the location.