Mayo County Council in a collaborative development with Mayo GAA have announced that it has acquired land at Lough Lannagh and intends to develop it for the purposes of sport, tourism and recreation.
The property being acquired comprises approximately 27 acres of land adjacent to Lough Lannagh Holiday Village, the new Castlebar Swimming Pool and GMIT. The land will be developed into two sections, a Mayo GAA Training Centre, which will comprise of three pitches to facilitate the training and development of youth teams and the support of the ladies football team, as well as providing facilities for high performance teams visiting the Centre and staying in the Lough Lannagh Holiday Village.
Mike Connolly, Chairman of Mayo GAA welcomed the announcement saying: "The Mayo GAA Training Centre is something that we have been working on for a long time and I am delighted to be able to announce today that this will now become a reality. Lough Lannagh is becoming a sporting hub in the Castlebar area with the tennis club, boxing club and new swimming pool already in situ and we are now delighted to become centrally involved in the area also.
"The Mayo GAA Training Centre is vitally important for the current generation of Mayo players as well as the future players who will wear the green and red. The Mayo GAA Training Centre will be a permanent training base for our senior football and hurling teams as well as all our underage teams. It will also give us the opportunity to support the ladies in their training and development. It will be used to train and educate our players in both on field and off field activities”
The lands acquired by Mayo County Council will be developed as part of an overall Sports Tourism Development Plan, which will see the existing walkways around the lake extended, as well as other leisure and sports tourism facilities. The acquisition will also facilitate the connection of the Greenway at Lough Lannagh to the wider Great Western Greenway which is planned to follow on from the new N5 route between Castlebar and Westport.
The acquisition complements the existing tourism accommodation, sporting, recreational and amenity facilities at Lough Lannagh which taken collectively will offer a unique sports and tourism facility like no other in Ireland.
Peter Hynes, Chief Executive of Mayo County Council, said “This is a major step for the Castlebar region and for the county, the acquisition has significant potential in the areas of sports tourism, public amenity and sports development. This unique project which is the result of a strategic partnership between Mayo County Council and Mayo GAA addresses a longstanding objective to develop sports and recreational tourism in this county. I believe this partnership presents an exceptional opportunity to maximise the potential of Lough Lannagh and the surrounding area in the years ahead”.
Kieran ‘Blackie’ Gavin, Cathaoirleach of Mayo County Council, said:"I welcome this unique and important development which I believe will be widely welcomed by people living in Castlebar and visiting the county. It is a demonstration of the work of Mayo County Council in the areas of tourism and sport."