Monday 20 January 2020

More than €3,000 raised to repair boardwalk along historic River Boyne damaged in suspected arson attack

Gardaí were notified of a fire at the Oldcastle site along the historic Boyne canal in Drogheda at 11pm on Thursday night (Photo: Ged Nash)
Gardaí were notified of a fire at the Oldcastle site along the historic Boyne canal in Drogheda at 11pm on Thursday night (Photo: Ged Nash)

Conor McCrave

A fundraising campaign to repair the scenic walkway destroyed in a suspected arson attack has raised over €3,500.

Gardaí were notified of a fire at the Oldcastle site along the historic Boyne canal in Drogheda at 11pm on Thursday night and an investigation is now underway into the cause.

The boardwalk, just a short walk from the site where the famous Battle of the Boyne took place in the 17th century, has proved to be a popular route for walking groups and tourists in the area.

Locals are devastated at the damage caused and have set up a gofundme page in response, raising almost two thirds of the €5,000 target within the 24 hours.

The cost of repairing the damage is thought to be much greater however, in the region of €200,000 and will take a number of months to be completed.

Local Labour senator Ged Nash said the scenic boardwalk was not a spot known for anti-social behaviour and was used daily by walkers and cyclists.

“The boardwalk is right beside the Boyne canal itself. This is an attraction used by locals as well as visitors. Countless people regularly use it from the Meath area,” he said.

“I use it myself two or three times a week,” he added.

Thousands of visitors are expected to visit the area in two weeks’ time when the annual Fleadh Cheoil kicks off in Drogheda meaning this attack “couldn’t have come at a worse time”, according to Mr Nash.

The boardwalk was established through a Greenway Initiative seven years ago and was a key focus in developing the Boyne canal region.

“This is something we were very proud to bring to bear and it’s all the sadder that this came from a voluntary initiative,” he said.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Drogheda Garda Station on 041 9874200.

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