Submissions sought for activities in city ‘unused jewel’

Playing waterpolo in their kayaks at the Claddagh Basin.

Community groups, clubs and members of the public have been asked to submit ideas for recreational activities in the Claddagh Basin, which has been described as an “unused jewel in the heart of the city”.

Lough Corrib Navigation Trustees – which is in charge of the Claddagh Basin – is seeking expressions of interest for water-related recreation and amenity activities.

Trustees Director, Padraig Conneely, told the Galway City Tribune: “We’ve been pushing for a long time to have this fabulous amenity opened up for use, so we’re putting it in the public domain to see what ideas come back.

“It’s a very enclosed and safe piece of infrastructure and an unused jewel in the heart of the city. It’s in the most visited tourist area in the city, beside Spanish Arch, the Claddagh and the river walkway.

“It would be great to see it used for activities, tourist promotions and exhibitions for the likes of Galway hookers. It could also be used for promotions by companies, although an application would need to be made to the Trustees, to ensure it’s not commercialised or distasteful.

“Kayaking, water polo, water safety training; there are a whole series of uses which could be looked at.

“I’m sure there are innovative people and companies with ideas, so let them bring them forward, we won’t rule anything in or out yet. Let the expressions of interest come in and we’ll look at everything,” said Cllr Conneely.

The Trustees have ownership of the Claddagh Basin, while funding for maintenance and other work is provided by Galway’s two local authorities and Mayo County Council, as it is part of the Corrib network.

The Basin measures 143 metres long by 52m wide and provides “a substantial area of safe waters for water-based recreation and amenity activities”.

The formal notice for expressions of interest reads: “In the past Galway City has attracted very high-profile events like the Volvo Ocean Race has a long history of water-based activities associated with the Claddagh, fishing, sailing, kayaking, etc.

“In recent years, water polo events have taken place in the Claddagh Basin during the summer months and there may be other water-related activities that could be carried on for short durations at various times of the year.

“In this regard, the Lough Corrib Navigation Trustees are seeking expressions of interest from community groups, clubs, organisations, companies, commercial entities that may be interested in and managing not-for-profit activities in the Claddagh Basin. Subject to approval, there would be no charge, however any parties will be responsible for Health and Safety and will need to provide appropriate insurances to indemnify the Trustees.”

The closing date for submissions to the Trustees, care of City Hall, is Friday, May 25.