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Connacht Tribune

Moycullen adventure park scales new heights

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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

Hospitality group raises €90k

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Lorraine Gallagher (left) and Charlene Hurley of Galway Hospice presented with a cheque for €27,537 by Brian Lynch and Eveanna Ryan of Connacht Hospitality.

The Connacht Hospitality Group this week announced that they raised more than €90,000 for a range of good Irish causes throughout 2022.

The group, which owns well-known Galway establishments including The Connacht Hotel, An Púcán, HYDE Hotel, Residence Hotel and 1520 Bar, as well as the Galway Bay Golf Resort, held a range of events at various stages of 2022 to fundraise for Claddagh Watch Patrol, the National Breast Cancer Research Institute (NBCRI), Galway Hospice and Make-A-Wish Ireland.

The announcement of over €90,000 worth of funds raised by the Connacht Hospitality Group for national and local charities comes off the back of the past 12 months which saw the group aim to make Corporate Social Responsibility a core part of their identity. This focus allowed them to become more aware of the causes that need assistance while also raising the profile of many of the charities.

The group arranged a diverse array of events to raise funds, and had lots of imaginative ways of grabbing the public’s attention. One event saw people attend HYDE Bar to savour a menu made by a mystery celebrity. In the end, it was revealed that TV personality Gráinne Seoige was the Executive Chef on a night that generated over €8,000 for the NBCRI.

Another event saw staff take part in a ‘Sunrise Swim’ in Salthill – and the public donated in their droves. All money raised went towards Claddagh Watch Patrol, an organisation that works to make Galway’s waterways safer by preventing accidental death and suicide.

One of the most successful fundraisers was the Galway Bay Golf Resort’s Golf Classic, which raised over €22,000 for Galway Hospice.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

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Connacht Tribune

Residents in fear of gangs travelling to rural Galway to burgle homes

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Detective Superintendent Shane Cummins.

Residents in rural County Galway are living in fear of being burgled after one small area suffered at least 10 raids in the month of January.

Councillor Mary Hoade told a meeting of the County Joint Policing Committee (JPC) this week that those figures were for around Headford alone, as she called for additional resources to target travelling crime gangs visiting the county.

“Some of these burglaries are taking place in the morning when people go to work; some are in the evening; and others at night. It’s very frightening.  We recognise that these criminals are coming into the county, but we need more support to fight crime,” said Cllr Hoade.

“Rural garda stations have less resources . . . we’re relying on the resources in the nearest town,” she continued.

The Fianna Fáil councillor said gardaí couldn’t be everywhere at once, but communities needed to act as their eyes and ears and report suspicious activity when they see it. Detective Superintendent Shane Cummins (pictured) told the JPC that Galway was being targeted from time to time by travelling gangs.

“Three different gangs visited the county on one day recently,” said Det Supt Cummins.

Cllr Shelly Herterich Quinn (FF) said she believed increased CCTV and automatic number plate recognition cameras – to capture known gangs on tour – should be rolled out.
This is a shortened preview version of this story. To read the rest of the article, see this week’s Connacht Tribune. You can support our journalism by buying a digital edition HERE.

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Connacht Tribune

IDA Ireland’s €10m land purchase backs Oranmore for industry base

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Former Mayor of County Galway, Liam Carroll.

IDA Ireland has trebled its footprint on the outskirts of Oranmore by purchasing more than 100 acres of land to support industry.

It’s understood the semi-state body purchased some 42.9 hectares on the outskirts of Oranmore, for a price in excess of €10 million.

The strategic purchase of land adjacent to some 21 hectares zoned ‘business and technology’ and already owned by the IDA, was a “major vote of confidence” in Oranmore and Galway, according Cathaoirleach of the Athenry/Oranmore Municipal District, County Councillor Liam Carroll (FG).

It brings the total amount of land owned by the IDA in the area to over 150 acres.

This latest parcel, purchased at the end of 2022, is located off the N67 Claregalway Road, to the north and east of the Galway to Dublin Rail line.

“It would be ideally suited and attractive to a major multinational company or companies for the establishment of a high tech, pharmaceutical or medical device type facility,” Cllr Carroll said.

The entire site of 150-plus acres is close to the M6 motorway, and an hour away from international links, Shannon Airport and Ireland West Airport in Knock.  It is also close to a number of potential Park & Ride sites, identified by the National Transport Authority as being suitable for commuters.

It’s understood the land is zoned agricultural and would require a material alteration to the County Development Plan to be voted on by county councillors, in order for it to be rezoned before 2028.

(Photo: Cllr Liam Carroll, who believes the land could be developed for a tech or pharmaceutical hub).
This is a shortened preview version of this story. To read the rest of the article, see this week’s Connacht Tribune. You can support our journalism by buying a digital edition HERE.

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