A Lough Ree based initiative to launch the first disability friendly 'Access for All' fishing boat on the island of Ireland, got a major boost this week with news of substantial funding from the Department of Tourism and Sport.
The Lough Ree Angling hub have announced their satisfaction at being able to welcome an allocation of over €39,000 from the Sports Capital Grants scheme towards the new 'Access for all' Angling & Recreational boat project. The news comes the same week as when the Hub has launched another major International fishing competition - supported by Bord na Mona - to bring hundreds of anglers to County Roscommon and county Longford.
Treasurer of the Lough Ree Angling hub, based in Ballyleague and Lanesborough, Alan Farrell says, "The plan is to launch a fantastic new daily boat service for people with a disability and able bodied anglers from the Quay Side at Ballyleague in early 2020- offering people with a disability and a walking impairment the opportunity for the first time to go out fishing on Lough Ree and engage in other recreational sports activities.
“This is a 5 star project to bring equality to those with a disability for the first time. Up to six people in wheelchairs can go out on the boat with 4 carers and 2 crew at any one time and the boat itself is a top of the line specialist boat to be built for this purpose.”
The Angling hub committee Alan, Philip, Andy, Alan and Ciaran, have been working hard on this project for over 2 years and are presently finalising plans to try and get the service started early next year.
"We would like to thank each and every political representative in this area who assisted us with this project" said Alan Farrell.
The team behind the initiative wished to thank the Irish Wheelchair Association, Inland Fisheries Ireland, Waterways Ireland and Roscommon County council, for working with them on this project.
More details of the project will be unveiled in the next 2 weeks, as the boat is ordered.
“When it arrives, Lanesborough and Ballyleague will have the first service of its kind for people with a disability on the island of Ireland, something worth looking forward to." said the team behind the project.