Looking back on 2018
As we look forward with anticipation to what 2019 will bring to our town, we also look back on 2018 with pride.
Having been neglected for way to long, the town saw unprecedented investment of close on €1m during the year via the Town and Village Renewal Schemes of 2017 and 2018, the Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme, the Pilot Residential Occupancy Scheme and the Healthy Ireland Fund. And as we await news on the big one – the €2.9m application under the Rural Recreational Fund- it is hoped that the strategically timed national publicity the town received on Thursday in the Irish Times will entice investors to look favourably at Boyle as a town with a plan that is moving forward and not sitting back complaining about being left behind. Hopefully these same investors will include persons who see the golden opportunity for the development of a hotel to cater for the increase in visitors and business that the next few years will bring to Boyle.
Looking forward to 2019
In life, one has to dream big and look outside the box if one wants to achieve goals. The same can be said for community development and planning for the future of our town. How about these ideas – off the wall one could say – but achievable and unique if planned correctly:
- Entice an investor or a group of locals to buy an old ship and transport it to an area close to the Woodenbridge and turned into a floating hotel. (If you don’t think this is possible remember David McGowan in Enniscrone got a plane into his village). The novelty of the hotel ship and proximity to the N4 would entice customers and while Boyle would have a hotel, the novelty aspect of the venture in addition to a passing trade would make it a viable enterprise.
- Turn the area between the canal and the river at the Woodenbridge into a marina where one could moor boats and conduct repairs in a commercial enterprise. Piggy back on this by having a nautical themed restaurant and a water sports base at the new marina.
- Boyle allegedly has a number of underground tunnels running adjacent and through the town. One such tunnel is stated as running from the Abbey, along the river, past Frybrook to Assylinn. Could a section of the tunnel be opened and made into a subterranean walkway or some form of exhibition space? (remember, there are grants available for many unique attractions nowadays….)
- Buildings that unfortunately was demolished many years ago included the cut stone stores at the Railway Station. Had they been retained they would had many modern uses. But we still have lovely cut stone buildings opposite the Royal that are screaming out for restoration into cafe’s, tourist related shops etc.
- The new ‘Royal Plaza’ that is proposed at the rear of the old building will have an open space for performance etc. Now is the time to look at getting a whole new streetscape onto the Plaza with businesses located on Bridge Street and Shop Street having a ‘new front’ onto the Plaza from their enterprises.
- Many years ago Boyle was the unofficial centre of UFO activity. Whither you believe in them or not, UFO research is a big tourism draw and the seeds for this form of tourism have already been sown in the area. The building of a ‘UFO Centre’ in Boyle, Lough Key Forest Park of indeed near current Marina would be a year round tourist attraction.
- While a riverside trading area is included in the Boyle 2040 plan, this is more of a long term project but it is one that needs to be brought forward sooner rather than later. Having a flood lit covered in riverside market that could house the street traders from the Crescent, in addition to some craft producers and operational on days and nights over weekends would be another town centre attraction.
A young cowboy from Montana goes off to college.
Halfway through the semester, having foolishly squandered all his money, he begins thinking about his dire situation. He hatches a plan. He calls home.
“Dad,” he says to his father, “You won’t believe what modern education is developing! They actually have a program here in University that will teach our dog, Ole’ Blue how to talk!”
“That’s amazing!” his Dad says. “How do I get Ole’ Blue in that program?”
“Just send him down here with $1,000,” the son says “and I’ll get him in the course.”
So, his father sends the dog and $1,000.
About two-thirds of the way through the semester, the money again runs out. The boy calls home.
So how’s Ole’ Blue doing son?” his father asks.
“Awesome, Dad, he’s talking up a storm,” he says, “but you just won’t believe this, they’ve had such good results they have started to teach the animals how to read!”
Read!?” says his father, taken aback. “No kidding! How do we get Blue in that program?”
“Just send $2,500, I’ll get him in the class.”
The money promptly arrives. But the young lad has a problem. At the end of the year, his father will find out the dog can neither talk, nor read. So he ponders his problem, again and again, he comes up with a plan. He finds the dog a new home and gives him away to a loving family. When he arrives home at the end of the year, his father is all excited.
“Where’s Ole’ Blue? I just can’t wait to talk to him!”
“Dad,” the boy says, “I have some grim news. Yesterday morning, just before we left to drive home, Ole’ Blue was in the living room, kicking back in the recliner, reading the Wall Street Journal, as he usually does. Then Ole’ Blue turned to me and asked, ‘So, is your daddy still messing around with the next door neighbours wife?'”
The father went white, then red, then exclaimed, “I hope you shot that lying dog before he talks that trash to your Mother!”
“I sure did, Dad!”