It was a very special occasion for landowner Matt Doyle and his family last week, with the official opening of the Grantstown Lake and woodlands.
He, along with his wife Gay and their family, welcomed a large crowd to the lake on Thursday afternoon.
“It is a proud day for me to see people able to access the lake. I don’t believe I have the right to keep people away and I have always tried to co-operate. All of the issues regarding insurance etc have been sorted out. There are around 3km of walks here and there are 20 odd acres of water. It is safe, secure and user friendly,” he said, going on to describe the area’s rich history.
“The lake was owned by Lord Castletown and he sold it to the Irish Land Commission 60 years ago. It also has a crannog in good condition. Grantstown Castle was built before 1650, and we also have the highest point in the diocese of Borris in Ossory, which was previously a kingdom. There is a lot of history and heritage here. I’m only passing through. I might legally own the land but I can’t take it with me. Local people have looked after the land for the last 60 years. There is no pollution or interference. People appreciate and respect what is here.”
The lake and woodlands will be open until 11pm on summer evenings, and there will be a supervisor working there. With an abundance of fish, it has already been attracting many local fishermen.