Belfast Telegraph

Pol O Muiri: Why our city’s secret rivers should be on tourist trail

Whether or not the Clowney river overflowing its banks was responsible for the flooding of the Westlink is a question the engineers will be chewing over for a while to come.

What surprised me most about the news was that I had forgotten there was a Clowney river in Belfast.

Like the Blackstaff and the Farset (which gives Belfast its name) the Clowney is not to be seen.

It seems a little sad to me that these watery veins are imprisoned in culverts beneath the city and that few citizens — and no tourists — have the slightest idea that they are there.

There is much talk about trying to make Belfast a more interesting tourist attraction and yet one of its more interesting features — its network of little rivers — is not marked.

I know we are not talking about rivers the size or grandeur of the Rhine — or even of the Bann — but surely the council could do something to mark even part of the courses of these rivers?

We think nothing of boasting about wall murals yet there is not as much as a ribbon of paint on the pavement to show where the Farset and Blackstaff run.

Perhaps Belfast could organise a competition for the most artistic and imaginative way to highlight the imprisoned waterways: Belfast: City of Rivers?

It would be much more interesting than that bland ‘B' that greets drivers on their way into the city.

Belfast Telegraph

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