B allinamore leads the way with new tourist centre

Opening of Tourist Office

B allinamore leads the way with new tourist centre
by Fiona Heavey fiona.heavey@leitrimobserver.ie @LeitrimToday

The sun shone in Ballinamore last Friday at the official opening of the town's Tourist, Angling and Information Centre.

The centre which has turned a disused building into one of the most important facilities in town was made possible by a hard working committee.

The group chaired by Publican Terry Shortt wanted to have a focal point in Ballinamore that will be able to inform all visitors to the town about the surrounding area, activities, facilities and much more.

With co-operation and support from the HSE who own the old health clinic, Leitrim County Council and various other bodies, Ballinamore Tourist Office is now open and staffed at least five days a week.

Tommy Moran MC at the opening recalled how much the town has changed since the Health Clinic opened in the 1950s. Hugh praise was given to Chairman Terry Shortt for his hard work on the project.

Terry said the angling and tourist centre was “always needed” and said the area is an angling hub and a fisherman's paradise. He outlined the centre also provides information on all of Co Leitrim, West Cavan and South Fermanagh taking in the World Geo Park.

The centre was opened by Cathaoirleach of Leitrim County Council Mary Bohan who said the business committee “have delivered for the people of Ballinamore and the wider area.”

She said Vincent Dwyer from Leitrim County Council told her this committee were “no nonsense and hard working.” She stated “Ballinamore continues to lead the way” and called the centre a “tremendous achievement.” The building was blessed by PP Fr Sean Mawn and Fr Johnny Cusack. Congratulating the committee, Fr Mawn quipped “with the church next door, if your numbers go up, ours will too!”

The Tourist and Angling Centre has a room dedicated to the late author John McGahern. The room will be available for public meetings and talks. McGahern's wife Madeline was delighted to hear about the room and donated photos of John and a signed book. Listowel Poetry winner Angela McCabe read from McGahern's 'Memories' at the opening.

The centre has two full time staff from a CE Scheme, the centre is currently open six days a week and will remain open full time all year. It has maps of the town and area with many places of interest, hike routes information on accommodation, restaurant and facilities in the region.

The centre offers advice and information on angling and leisure activities. The centre located beside St Patrick's Church on High Street is open 9am - 5pm, call (071) 9644513.