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In Pictures: Laois hurlers take to the water in support of fundraiser for local amenity

Laois hurlers, Ronan Broderick, Willie Dunphy, Mark Hennessy and James Ryan take to the water with Michael G Phelan and Alison Bailey and sponsors for the day Mick and Aoife Dunphy, Dunphy Stone & Agri Ltd. The promotional paddle by the Woodenbridge Paddlers is supporting the Erkina Blueway Project. Picture: Alf Harvey.

The Woodenbridge Paddlers Association has recently been granted planning permission by Laois County Council to develop The Erkina Blueway.

This will connect the towns of Rathdowney and Durrow over a 14km stretch and is a waterway usable for small boats and canoes with associated walking and cycling trails.

Works include river management, installation of information signs, access and egress points and upgrading of parking for cars.

Some funding for this project has been granted by Laois Partnership Company with additional funding from Clar and Laois County Council however the Woodenbridge Paddlers are required to provide 25% of the funding from their own resources.

To meet this requirement, they have pursued other avenues of funding – one of which is a novel 30 Day Paddle Challenge throughout the month of April.

There is where Michael G Phelan and Alison Bailey are completing a course on the river in all 30 days of April where they are sponsored each day by local businesses.

On Sunday, April 18, four members of the Laois Senior Hurling team – James Ryan, Mark Hennessy, Ronan Broderick and Willie Dunphy – whose families all farm beside the Erkina River, came together along with sponsors for the day, Dunphy Stone and Agri Ltd, to hold a promotional paddle to support the Erkina Blueway Project.

Some work on the project has already commenced and it is hoped the Blueway will be completed by 2024.

A contribution from this fundraiser will also be made to The Irish Wheelchair Association.

All Covid 19 Guidelines and Water Safety Guideline will be adhered to throughout the 30 Day Challenge on and off the water.

If you wish to donate to the fundraiser, you can do so by clicking below:

 

Ronan Broderick checking out his cows on the banks of the river Erkina. Local Laois hurlers, Ronan Broderick, Willie Dunphy, Mark Hennessy and James Ryan take to the water with Michael G Phelan and Alison Bailey and sponsors for the day Mick and Aoife Dunphy, Dunphy Stone & Agri Ltd on Sunday 18th April. The promotional paddle by the Woodenbridge Paddlers is supporting the Erkina Blueway Project.
Picture: Alf Harvey.

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Stradbally native Alan Hartnett is a graduate of Knockbeg College who has worked in the local and national media since 2008. Alan has a BA in Economics, Politics and Law and an MA in Journalism from DCU. His happiest moment was when Jody Dillon scored THAT goal in the Laois senior football final in 2016.