The weir swimming area at Bleach Road is to get a new pier platform to improve safety and access to the river, and to stabilise the river bank.
Following a review of the area, Irish Water Safety had expressed specific concern over the existing timber pier at the weir on Bleach Road. The area is often used by members of the public, and those training for triathlons and the Nore swim.
A new project has now been approved by the Kilkenny County Council to remove the existing pier, stabilise the river bank, replace all signage and life-buoy holders, and improve the access and safety of the steps. The project is expected to cost around €6,000, with both the local authority and Kilkenny Water Safety providing the funding.
Former Cathaoirleach of Kilkenny County Council Paul Cuddihy has championed the project from the beginning. He says it was where he himself learned to swim as a child, and the works will make the amenity safer for all.
“The old wall where people are climbing up and jumping is to be replaced with a much-improved structure,” he said.
“This will make it easier for everyone, people with a disability, to have access to the water.”
The project will require sub-surface construction, and at present the river is too high for this. Cllr Cuddihy says that the works can be completed within one week, but cannot begin until the water level recedes.
The works come following a review of four locations in Kilkenny at which lifeguards are deployed during the summer months: Bleach Road, the Meadows, Graignamanagh and Inistioge. Irish Water Safety had identified a number of improvement works deemed necessary.