The development of a new €350,000 riverbank amenity park in Ballyleague has led to an invitation from Inland Fisheries Ireland for the local community to try and stage a major international angling event in the Lanesborough-Ballyleague area.
Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) has already pledged support to the development of new angling facilities as part of the Ballyleague project now underway. After visiting the area the IFI has challenged the local community on both sides of the River Shannon to make a pitch to stage the World Feeder Championships in three years’ time.
Representatives of the IFI met with members of the Lanesborough Tourism Co-op and Ballyleague Village Renewal on site last Tuesday and have encouraged both groups to work together to try and stage this prestigious world angling event.
The World Feeder event attracts anglers from 30 countries and is worth an estimated two million euro to the local economy. The event took place recently in Inniscarra, Co Cork and Ballyleague Village Renewal was represented at the event by James Hudson and Joe Cribbin.
“This is a huge international event,” Joe Cribbin says, “to stage it locally would be the biggest thing ever to happen here. We would need to have anglers on both sides of the river for the week.”
It is believed that for the event to be staged here major remedial work would have to be carried out on the famous hot water stretch adjoining the ESB’s Lough Ree Power plant in Lanesboro.
The IFI has been asked to meet with ESB authorities to try and advance this work over the next six months.
“The hot water stretch needs urgent attention and restocking” Joe concluded. “But we know that ESB will not be found wanting in terms of supporting this international event.”
The riverbank development project commenced three weeks ago and there was a sod turning event to mark this on Tuesday, July 29. Local residents gathered on the morning where former chairman of Ballyleague Village Renewal Committee, Denis Dunne, performed the ceremonial turning of the sod.
The works will go on in two phases.
“Phase one will be the development of a quay retaining wall, safety railing, angling facilities for disabled and able bodied anglers, footpaths, seating areas and landscaping.
“Phase two will further expand the region with children’s play area, outdoor gym and additional angling facilities.”
It is expected that phase one will take 20 weeks and will be completed by January.