Ireland’s iconic canoe marathon race, the Liffey Descent, celebrates the 60th race this year and the international event takes place this Saturday 14 September making its way down the river through Lucan in South Dublin.
Paddlers will test their skills as they negotiate 10 weirs and 1 portage along the 32 kilometre stretch of the River Liffey from the starting point at the K Club in Co. Kildare to the finish line at the Garda Rowing Club, Islandbridge, Dublin.
Lucan village itself is the gateway to the River Liffey in Dublin and the river, which runs parallel to the village, offers the spectator many opportunities. The river can be accessed from the village at Lucan Bridge, the largest single-span masonry arch bridge in Ireland. It is also possible to explore the River Liffey at Lucan Demesne Park, which is a five minute walk from the village centre and connects onwards to St Catherine’s Park and into Leixlip. There is a white water slalom course at this location and it a great spot to see canoeists manoeuvre around the river’s natural obstacles.
“Much like major running races such as the Dublin Marathon there will be a mix of international paddlers in racing classes and those who are taking part for the experience”, said Shane Cronin of the Canoe Centre, Palmerstown, who is engaged by Canoeing Ireland and race coordinator of the 60th International Liffey Descent. “Many canoe clubs from home and abroad attend the event, returning year after year, adding to the fun and experience of the entire race weekend.”
The race is being supported by South Dublin County Council’s tourism brand Dublin’s Outdoors through its Tourism Event and Festival Grant. The grant scheme makes funding available to businesses and community groups across South Dublin County to support key priority areas such as cultural, food, sports and activity based tourism aimed at growing the visitor economy. The aim is to fund innovate events/festivals that will be supported by local businesses and communities and which will add value to our tourism product.
Pictured: In 2017, Iomhar Mac Giolla Phadraig competes during the 58th International Liffey Descent on the River Liffey at Lucan Weir in Lucan South Dublin. Photo by Cody Glenn/Sportsfile