Hollywood actor Gabriel Byrne has claimed that the proposed Blueway trail through south Co Kildare will damage the local environment.
Waterways Ireland has applied for planning permission to Kildare Co Council for the development alongside the Grand Canal and River Barrow near Rathangan, Monasterevin and Athy as well in other Leinster counties.
Gabriel Byrne - who has a home in the area and who has walked the Barrow Line on numerous occasions - wants it to be left alone.
Moya Doherty and John McColgan of Riverdance fame along with journalist and broadcaster Olivia O'Leary are also opposing changes to the historic walkway.
Usual Suspects film actor Byrne said: "I think to damage what's been there for some 300 years, to damage the banks and disrupt the species, would be something that anyone who cares about the environment wouldn't want to see."
A total of 115km of the proposed Blueway will begin in Lowtown, Co Kildare and then pass through Co Kildare, Co Laois and Co Carlow.
It is planned by Waterways Ireand that there will be 47km of the route in Co Kildare, 16km in Co Laois and 52km in Co Carlow.
Planning permission has been sought for works on and around more than dozen bridges including around Rathangan, Athy and Monasterevin.
The Save The Barrow Line campaigners want to stop Waterways Ireland from replacing the grassy towpaths along the Barrow Navigation with a hard surface.
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