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Connacht Tribune

Moycullen adventure park scales new heights

Stephen Corrigan

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David and Faye Bohan: Their father Tim had long believed the site was perfect for an adventure centre. Photo: Joe O'Shaughnessy

Set on 20 acres of forestry and woodlands beside a lake, Wildlands offers visitors a chance to try a range of  high-octane activities to get their adrenaline flowing. Catering for all ages, it’s proving hugely popular since it opened in July.  Siblings Faye and David Bohan tell STEPHEN CORRIGAN how this family enterprise evolved and about their ambitions for its future.

In 2018, when the Bohans broke ground on what they hope will one day be Ireland’s leading adventure park, they could hardly have imagined they would be opening its gates for the first time in the midst of a global pandemic.

But such were the times they found themselves in when, in July, brother-and-sister team David and Faye Bohan welcomed the first visitors to Wildlands in Moycullen.

Set on 20 acres of green fields, forestry and on the banks of the picturesque Ballyquirke Lake, Wildlands is proving a huge hit with locals and visitors alike. People have been booking in their droves to try out this new adventure centre, unlike any other in Ireland.

With an unrivalled 11 zip-lines of varying heights outside, as well as disc-golf, archery, forestry walks and fairy trails already up and running, Faye says they’ve been blown away by the response so far. And with much more to come both indoors and out, she feels the potential for the area is endless.

“It was our father Tim who had the vision for this place. He was friendly with James Nelson Palmer who owned the land here and who has since passed. He and Dad used to be involved in the land and Dad would say this would be a great place for doing the stuff that we were doing,” says Faye, explaining that she and David are big into outdoor activities.

The family owns Delphi Resort in Leenane and has a background in adventure tourism, but Wildlands offers something different.

“With Delphi, it’s about overnight stays and school trips, whereas we don’t get a day-tripper crowd,” explains David. “We’ve gone for that different model here where it’s a park for day-trippers.”

Plans for the Moycullen park have been in development for over four years, and it was an unsuccessful bid for a Fáilte Ireland grant that hardened the family’s resolve that they had the perfect location for this venture.

“It was after that when we became really invested in the idea,” recalls Faye. “We had done all the business plans and we really started to believe that there was a need for this in Galway, in the West and in Ireland generally.”

She and David began to research what exactly they’d put in Wildlands, taking trips to similar facilities here and abroad – looking to what was most popular in the US and UK where adventure tourism is particularly strong.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Connacht Tribune

Galway Real Estate have attractive site for sale on the Aran Islands

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Oghill, Inishmore, Aran Islands.

Galway Real Estate have an attractive site/property for sale at Oghill, Inishmore, Aran Islands.

The site is approximately c.150 square metres. (c.1600 sq. ft.) on c.1 acre with planning permission to convert to a dwelling house and fit a new waste water treatment system. Planning Ref: 17/1284. There are two years  left on planning. The planning is for a proposed 4 bedrooms, kitchen, dining/room, laundry/room, bathroom. This is a wonderful opportunity to get a property ready to go. Offers in excess of €125,000 considered.

Full details from Paddy Flynn 0872557618 or Galway Real Estate on 091565488 or email: info@galwayrealestate.ie

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Connacht Tribune

Aran to welcome Ireland’s largest domestic passenger ferry

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Saoirse na Farraige

The largest domestic passenger ferry in the country is making its journey from the Far East to the Far West – ready to commence service from Galway to the three Aran Islands.

The 40-metre ‘Saoirse na Farraige’ represents a massive investment – and vote of confidence – in island tourism on the part of the owners, Aran Island Ferries.

Commissioned in January 2019, this sixth member of their fleet has a capacity of 400 – and it is expected to arrive in Galway Bay from Hong Kong in October.

The vessel departed Hong Kong last week, embarking on a 2,500 mile journey to Galway Bay – inside the hold of a heavy lift ship called Svenja’”.

Saoirse na Farraige has at least three more stops to make before arriving in Galway Bay at the end of October – and it won’t not enter service until next spring.

Aran Island Ferries Sales and Marketing Manager, Aine McLoughlin, said that they were looking forward to seeing visitors enjoy their journey to the Aran Islands, enjoying the increased capacity, accessibility, and safety features.

“We are really looking forward to officially launching ‘Saoirse na Farraige’ next year and seeing visitors enjoy their journey to the Aran Islands on board our new ferry,” she said.

Saoirse na Farraige will serve all three islands from Rossaveel – with a journey time of 40 minutes to Inis Mór, 50 minutes to Inis Meáin, and 55 minutes to Inis Oírr.

Read the full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in now – or download our digital edition at www.connachttribune.ie

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Connacht Tribune

Emergency Department upgrade will happen at UHG – but it’s complicated

Denise McNamara

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The current ED at UHG.

Revamping the emergency department at UHG will involve three separate projects – leading to the hospital’s chief describing the process as ‘very complex’.

City Councillor John Connolly (FF) said the people of Galway were concerned that the new emergency department – like the ring road – would never happen, as it appeared to be so bound up in red tape.

Joe Hoare, assistant national director of estates in HSE West, told the Regional Health Forum West meeting that that outpatients department adjacent to the emergency department was being redeveloped to create more capacity for streaming Covid patients from non-Covid patients for the winter.

The outpatients department would be relocated to the Merlin Park campus. The design for this building would be completed within ten months with construction expected to begin in by last 2021 at the earliest.

An interim emergency department was the next priority so that the current building could be knocked to make way for the new state-of-the-art building, creating a new maternity department and paediatrics unit.

Since the budget for the new children’s hospital had blown out of all proportion, the rules over public projects over €100 million had changed and the Saolta hospital group had to ensure its business case for the massive project was ‘watertight’.

Mr Hoare said all three projects were moving in parallel, including the enabling works for the main build, which would take around 18 months to complete.

He described the project as Saolta’s ‘absolute top priority and was regarded as such by the national HSE organisation.

Head of Saolta, Tony Canavan, said the project was ‘big and very complex’ and required management to remain ‘very focused over a long time’.

Read the full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in now – or download our digital edition at www.connachttribune.ie

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