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Lecanvey dreams of Croagh Patrick cable car


PIPEDREAMLocals believe the provision of a cable car would bring thousands more pilgrims to Croagh Patrick every year.  Pic: Michael McLaughlin

Anton McNulty

A CABLE car to the summit of Croagh Patrick from Lecanvey village is one of the ambitious projects that locals want to see introduced.
In a submission made by the Lecanvey community as part Mayo County Council’s Corporate Plan, they outlined their vision for the west Mayo village and its hinterland.
The village, which is located at the foot of Croagh Patrick between Louisburgh and Westport, is seeking to be included in the Village Enhancement Scheme. At last week’s meeting of the Westport/Belmullet Municipal District, which was held in Lecanvey Community Hall, the vision was outlined to local councillors.
Community representative Pat Joyce explained that despite being a national pilgrimage site, Croagh Patrick has lacked significant investment, and that he believes that the community’s proposed projects, including the cable car, would increase tourist figures in the region.
“I have a dream – some might say it is pie in the sky – that we will have a cable car some day that will leave Lecanvey and bring people to the summit. There are a lot of people who are unable to walk or have difficulty walking who would love to reach the summit. To some it would be groundbreaking, but it would be a huge advantage to the Lecanvey and Murrisk area. This proposal will require collaboration, consultation with all of the key stakeholders and agencies alike,” he told the meeting.
Mr Joyce added that the new water supply to the region is an essential part of their plan, and  he called for water and electricity to be supplied at the summit of Croagh Patrick. He also called for toilets to be open all year round on the summit of the Reek, as well as at the local beaches. Coastal erosion is a big problem on Bertra beach, he said, adding that unless steps are taken to correct it, ‘there will be an island in [Bertra] in the not too distance future’.
Other projects that Pat Joyce wishes to see accomplished in Lecanvey include a new playground and the erection of a helipad on Croagh Patrick to assist in search-and-rescue missions on the Reek.
He finished by asking the councillors to read the community’s submissions and consider what they could do to make the proposals a reality.
Although Mr Joyce said the idea of the cable car might seem far fetched, he received support from the local councillors who feel the community might be onto a winner.
“Personally, I think the provision of a cable car from Lecanvey to the summit of the Reek is a fantastic idea,” said Cllr Brendan Mulroy. “The number of males ages 65 and over has increased by 22 percent while females increased by 16.7 percent. You are talking about 600,000 people who physically cannot climb the Reek, and in our walk of life you meet loads of people who say they would love to get to the top of the Reek one last time. I think you are on a winner in relation to that.”
Cllr Mulroy praised the community for presenting the submission and accepted that they now needed help to implement their proposals.  
Achill-based councillor Paul McNamara said the community faced similar problems to his area regarding the lack of toilets on beaches outside of the summer season. Beaches are used 12 months of the year, he said, and he called for facilities to be open year round.