A large crowd took the scenic walk down to Grantstown Lake last Thursday for its official opening, after many years of hard work from members of the community.
As well as the large number of local people, the Durrow Cullahill Anglers, and children from Ballacolla NS, representatives from Parks and Wildlife and Laois Partnership were in attendance to enjoy the lake and the beautiful surrounding woodlands.
Minister for the Arts, Heritage and the Gaelteacht Jimmy Deenihan also visited to officially open the amenity.
“I’m delighted to be here on this beautiful afternoon in this beautiful county. I want to thank the landowner Matt Doyle, Padraig Comerford and Ciara Flynn from Parks and Wildlife, and the local angling club.”
He added that he was delighted that his department could help with providing the fishing stands.
“Not too many places have this type of facility. At its deepest the lake is 12 metres and there is a wide variety of fish. The fish are plentiful which is unusual these days. This is a great amenity for local people, and people are looking for places like this.”
The Minister said that it would be a really enjoyable experience for families to come into the woods.
“Nature and biodiversity are very important. We have destroyed a lot but we still have an awful lot left. Nature will prevail and the amenity will be there for eternity. This is a real partnership and collaboration between various agencies and the local communities.”
Philip Kearney, chairman of the Durrow Cullahill Anglers thanked the various agencies who were involved with the “fabulous amenity”, giving special mention to Matt Doyle, Pat Dunphy and Michael G Phelan, who did a lot of work on restoring the lake.
Mark Clancy from Laois Partnership also spoke at the opening, thanking everyone involved with the “great value landscape feature”. Laois Partnership provided funding for the fishing stands. He said that the project was “an example of co-operation in action, adding that Laois Partnership believes that local communities are best equipped to decide what they need.
“This is another string in the bow for South Laois”.