Boyle 2040 – an exciting plan for the town’s future
Elected members of the Boyle Municipal District were provided with details of the Boyle 2040 town enhancement plan on Friday last. They were told that works will include public realm enhancement to the north side of the town to include Bridge Street, Main Street and St. Patrick Street – all areas that have suffered greatly in recent years. New paved road and path surfaces, tree lining of the street scape, rejuvenation of the back streets along by the river, a remodeling of the Shambles area and the old Royal Hotel building are all included in the plan along with a new walkway adjacent to the old Royal building that will link up with the proposed Greenway through the Pleasure Grounds. While it is titled “Boyle 2040”, work will commence this year on some aspects of the plan and as further funding becomes available – more of the plan will fall into place. Announcing details of what will be the most elaborate remodeling work ever planned for Boyle takes time and needs to go through, what can be, a slow process. Boyle Town Team has been working with the Town Centre Planning Unit of the Council for nearly two years now on what is best for Boyle. The plan has came back to the Team for discussion, then it had to go to the Municipal Members, back again for refining, put into a visual format and will go on display for public comment in the next few weeks. This is how the process works. Unfortunately we still have one or two are trying to imply in the local media that information on the plan is being “held” or “kept from the public”. This is totally incorrect and an effort to destabilize all the good work that is being undertaken by so many. Until now, there was no point in releasing information on a plan that was not finalised or did not receive the backing of the Councillors. Both are now in place. Boyle 2040 is a plan that will not only keep our history, heritage and natural beauty intact (saving the Royal building is one example), but will also change the face of the town centre for the better, bringing our town back to where it rightfully should be.
Saving the Royal Hotel is good news
There was broad welcome last Friday also that the Council propose to keep the origional Royal Hotel building. We are so tired of looking at it’s dilapidated and ugly state of repair that if it was demolished tomorrow then not many would have complained, as it would eliminate an eyesore that is a blot on the town centre. But that would have been a long term solution to a short term problem. The same could have happened to King House were it not for another far seeing county manager at that time. Back in the eighties there were some in Boyle who fought for the building’s demolition to make way for, of all things, a car park! The then county manger was a man called Donal Connolly and he, along with certain others, seen the potential in the old military barracks and that is why we still have King House today. The Royal is a similar type building. Steeped in history, the origional building dates back to 1782 and was the Bianconi stop on the old Sligo to Dublin road. Older generations will recall the arch at the front of the hotel, which it is understood will form part of the remodeled building. While there is no decision yet on it’s future use, it will not be a hotel. At least now we will be able to look back in time and take pride in the fact that, yet again, we did not knock down one of the town’s most historic buildings.
Lough Key Bus Service recommences
The Local Link bus service to Boyle from Lough Key and vice versa commences operation this Sunday. The Local Link service is a follow on from the Lough Key Shuttle Bus that Boyletoday.com was the main sponsor of for a number of years. The bus provides four return services between the town and park seven days per week in the summer months. During the Arts Festival, frequency is increased. Hopefully by Summer 2019 we may have the Lough Key to Boyle Greenway in operation. This shovel ready project is awaiting funding news and once the go ahead is given work should commence immediately. The provision of good transport links between Boyle and Lough Key Forest Park is critical if businesses in the town are to benefit from tourists who visit the Park.
A different Good Friday this year
This Good Friday is an historic one with many bars open for the first time in over 100 years but here in Boyle there are some who are maintaining the tradition and staying closed. It’s a far cry from the Good Friday’s of old when hastily convened “meetings” were organised behind closed doors of many licensed premises in the hope of getting the illicit drink. Likewise a meal in the local hotel meant you were also eligible for a drink – that’s when we had a hotel!. Good Friday was also a traditional day for people to venture up North where everything remained open. On the way home you could take in the Circuit of Ireland car rally which always seemed to have a stage around Arigna. And Good Friday’s of old brings back memories of Doherty’s Bakery on Bridge Street were queues formed for hot cross buns. You could only get the buns on Good Friday and as the saying goes – “when they were gone they were gone”!
A busy Easter weekend in Boyle
Boyle should be a busy place this weekend. The annual Pike Angling Festival take place on Lough Key on Saturday and Sunday. This event always draws a big crowd with many staying over on Saturday night and spending money in and around the town. Perhaps this could be the reason the Caravan Park in Lough Key Forest Park is nearly booked out this weekend. Even though the temperatures remain relatively low for this time of year, the caravan park had a steady stream of motor homes visit this past week, justification if it was needed, that earlier opening this season was a good idea. King House also reopens this weekend following yesterday’s opening of Boyle Abbey, adding further attractions to our tourism mix.
Rail line will be busy on Sunday
Those travelling by train to the Roscommon match in Croke Park on Sunday are advised to book their tickets well in advance. Due to works on the Heuston line over the weekend, it is expected that people from west Roscommon will travel to the capital on the Sligo – Dublin line, thus increasing passenger numbers. At the time of writing there has been no mention of any additional trains on the line for the big game. Good luck to the players and management, especially those from Boyle, as they aim to win the League title against Cavan. If you can’t make the journey to Dublin the game is live on TG4.
A pirate walked into a bar, and the barman said, “Hey, I haven’t seen you in a while. What happened? You look terrible.”
“What do you mean?” said the pirate, “I feel fine.”
“What about the wooden leg? You didn’t have that before.”
“Well,” said the pirate, “We were in a battle, and I got hit with a cannon ball, but I’m fine now.”
The bartender replied, “Well, OK, but what about that hook?
What happened to your hand?”
The pirate explained, “We were in another battle. I boarded a ship and got into a sword fight. My hand was cut off. I got fitted with a hook but I’m fine, really.”
“What about that eye patch?”
“Oh,” said the pirate, “One day we were at sea, and a flock of birds
flew over. I looked up, and one of them S*h*t in my eye.”
“You’re kidding,” said the bartender. “You couldn’t lose an eye just from bird S*h*t.”
“It was my first day with the hook.”