The new River Suir access works are almost completed at Sandybanks in Marlfield.
These works are part of the Blueway project, which links Cahir with Carrick-on-Suir.
The Blueway will enable kayaking and other water-based activities to use the full extent of the natural treasure that is the River Suir, and Marlfield is bang in the middle of this route.
The lovely launching slipway and hand-railed stepped access, with variable level berthing platforms with mooring rings, are in place at Sandybanks and looking very well.
The new facility is in the corner where the Marlfield Lake stream enters the River Suir and is in the protected area formed by the estuary.
The marina is flood-proof and has pedestrian access steps at both ends, all cast in concrete. This element of the river access works was jointly funded by a grant from sports capital funding, with an allocation from Tipperary County Council.
The County Council has also carried out extensive hard surface works to prepare for the inevitable floods and these will connect to the entrance road.
At this junction a traffic control goalpost-type barrier, with a height restriction, will be erected.
This is to discourage large vehicles from taking up residence there and to ensure adequate parking is always available.
Landscaping and surface-seeding will complete this lovely new river access facility. It is heartening to witness the foresight and commitment to this lovely unsung resource taking place in the village of Marlfield, which is also known in the mother tongue as Inislounaght, or the island of fresh milk.
The Abbey of Inislounaght once stood in this very place until 6th April 1540 when it was dissolved by King Henry VIII, with 12,836 acres to distribute among his subjects.
This gentle part of the Suir was one of the main crossing places to the Kingdom of the Decies.