Lanesboro-Ballyleague set for €250k boost

Hugh Kane, Minister Anne Phelan TD, Cllr Orla Layden, Ciaran Mullooly, and Una Ni Chuinn at St Mary's Hall in Lanesboro. Photo: Declan Gilmore
Lanesboro and Ballyleague is set for a €250,000 cash injection after both towns secured the rights to hold a world renowned fishing competition next year.

Lanesboro and Ballyleague is set for a €250,000 cash injection after both towns secured the rights to hold a world renowned fishing competition next year.

Both venues have been chosen to host the ninth World Championships Predator Boat Fishing competition in October 2016.

Scores of fishing enthusiasts from right across Europe are expected to descend on the south Longford locality for the five day festival.

Speaking at a news conference in The Yacht Bar in Lanesboro last Friday, Lough Ree North Angling Hub Chairman Hugh Keane said the announcement was testimony to the unsung efforts of local volunteers.

“A lot of hard work has been done by the new angling hub in the last six months and we see this decision as a public endorsement of our tremendous work in promoting angling in this area,” he said.

“The challenge for us now is to find adequate and appropriate accomodation in the local area for as many of the visiting 250 anglers as possible.”

PRO Ciaran Mullooly said efforts to realise those targets had already started with talks already being held with the new owners of the Lough Ree Arms and Convent of Mercy in Lanesboro.

Discussions, he added, were planned with both Roscommon and Longford County Councils in an effort to secure additional funding for the project.

Progress, it was revealed, has already been made to try and ensure as many local bed and breakfast facilities are signed up with Failte Ireland ahead of the showcase.

The announcement coincided with a trip to the area by Junior Minister Ann Phelan.

During her visit, the Labour minister was given a tour of the local area and presented with a letter seeking support for a new economic regeneration study to be carried out.

Part of that drive include plans for the construction of a new angling centre, providing boat hire and fishing tackle to locals and tourists alike.

The conference was also attended by local politicians, James Bannon TD as well as county councillors Gerald Farrell and Colm Murray.

“It’s a huge announcement for the local economy,” said Cllr Farrell, in his role as vice chairman of the Lough Ree North Angling Hub.

“We formed the Hub last year after the discovery of Asian Clams and decided to get up and do something about it by pushing Lanesboro as a tourism product.

“Less than a year later, we have the announcement here today and huge credit has to go to the committee for bringing it about,” he said.