Councillor Declan Bree was praised by a number of other Councillors at last Monday’s meeting of Sligo Borough District, as the gate lodge at Doorly Park is expected to open next March following several representations made by Cllr. Bree at council meetings over the years.
Cllr. Bree told the meeting: “As I pointed out in the past, the Gate Lodge at Doorly Park is an important part of Sligo’s heritage and thanks to a decision of Sligo Borough Council it’s included in a list of our propoected structures.
“After a very long wait four years ago this council received the initial instalment of grant aid for the refurbishment of the lodge and later that year we received a formal request from the tourist development association to lease the lodge so that it could be used for tourism promotion purposes and for promoting use of the new pontoon pier which was being developed at the time.”
Cllr. Bree added that Sligo County Council formally approved the lease subject to conditions, once of which was ‘provision for use of the facility by the local community in Doorly Park and Martin Savage Terrace area’.
“I wish to thank the Tourist Development Association and Sligo Leader Partnership Company for their reports,” Cllr. Bree said.
“I particularly welcome the fact that the refurbishment works on the lodge will be complete before the end of this year.
“I fully understand that there were delays with the works due to Covid 19 pandemic.
“I’m also pleased to note that it’s envisaged that the lodge will be open from March next.
“I see from the report that it’s proposed to employ some participants from the Tús programme as staff. I’m generally not overly enthusiastic about Tús or social employment schemes because I fear that they can be used as a source for cheap labour rather than training at times.
“However, I also note from the report that it’s proposed to operate the gate lodge scheme as a pilot social enterprise project so in this context I would ask that we be kept informed of developments.”
Cllr. Rosaleen O’Grady said: “This shows for many years the lodge at Doorly Park lay derelict really, and I have to say Cllr. Bree pioneered it in Sligo Borough Council ,he has it on the agenda on many occasions that we would move on with it.
“It shows you what can be done when there’s partnership.”
There was more praise for Cllr. Bree, this time from Cllr. Arthur Gibbons.
“I actually remember this being on the agenda at the very first Borough Council meeting I attended in 1999.
“It’s lovely to see it coming to an end at this stage. Cllr. Bree stayed on this for the last 20 years or so.”
Cllr. Maguire said: “I concur with the remarks abut Councillor Bree sticking with this for so long. It’s remarkable that it will come to fruition.”
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