Pontoon decision paves way to boost lake tourist traffic

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The granting of planning permission for the provision of a new pontoon dock at Doorly Park will pave the way for the promotion of greater tourist traffic on Lough Gill.

TOUR BOAT: The new pontoon landing facility would allow tour boats such as the Rose of Innishfree to operate from Doorly Park. This picture shows the vessel having to board passengers on Yeats Day 2015 via the bow.
TOUR BOAT: The new pontoon landing facility would allow tour boats such as the Rose of Innishfree to operate from Doorly Park. This picture shows the vessel having to board passengers on Yeats Day 2015 via the bow.

And the new landing facility for boats could be put in place next summer if funding for the estimated cost of roughly €100,000 can be got.

Sligo Tourist Development Association has been granted approval for the reconstruction and repair of the existing quay wall and provision of a 27mx3m floating pontoon, accessed by a metal ramp from the quay wall onto a 6mx3m landing pontoon at Crozon Promenade, Doorly Park.

Secretary of the Association Joe Corcorcan said that the lack of a proper docking facility for tour boats and other craft near the town had been talked about for a long time and his association had been working with Sligo Tidy Towns committee on this project.

“The first thing that was needed was to get planning permission so we agreed to take the lead on that and we have worked with various bodies to achieve that.”
He said that there hasn’t been this facility available and pointed out that for the past 20 years or so the tour boat operated by George McGoldrick has had to work from Parke’s Castle.

“We feel there is a lot of tourism potential on Lough Gill with its history and Yeats connection.

“It also opens up the possibility of two-way traffic on the lake. A tour boat could pick up a coach load of tourists in town and bring them to Parke’s Castle or vice versa. That is a very attractive proposition for a tour operator.”

Mr Corcoran said that they were now looking at possible sources of funding.

“We are very hopeful that with the co-operation of other bodies that this work could be done during the 2016 season”, he said.

A condition of the planning permission is that all “in-stream work” can only be carried out in dry weather between May 1 and September 30.

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