Last Friday proved to be a landmark day on the Sligo/Leitrim border as the long awaited pontoon in Doorly Park was used for the first time by the Rose of Innisfree tourboat with dignitaries and politicians from Sligo and Leitrim on board to celebrate the occasion.
A grant of €200,000 was awarded last year by Fáilte Ireland through its grants scheme for Large Tourism Projects 2020, with the intended aim of delivering world-class tourist experiences, boosting overseas visitor growth and creating jobs.
The total cost of the project was €270,000 with landscaping, signage, a new shelter area, seating and information points all part of the development at the Sligo pontoon.
Work began on installing the 27 metre floating pontoon in May of this year and it has already proven to be a very welcome addition to the area.
Located on the Garvogue river and within walking distance of Sligo town centre, it will provide opportunities for existing and new tourism businesses to create and expand their products and services.
The fact that the Rose of Innisfree can now pick up and drop off passengers at the state of the art facility has huge potential in terms of the services that can be provided on both Lough Gill and the Garavogue river.
The development of the pontoon through this funding will also support access to Lough Gill for sport, recreation and tourism opportunities, including WB Yeats themed visitor experiences given its association with the famous poem Lake Isle of Innisfree.