Hopes of access to Swan Park ‘in some shape or form’ by summer

The popular Swan Park beauty spot in Bunrana was badly damaged in the floods of last August.
The popular Swan Park beauty spot in Bunrana was badly damaged in the floods of last August.
  • Popular Buncrana beauty spot was devastated by last year’s floods

There are strong hopes that Swan Park in Buncrana will be accessible in “some shape or form” by this summer.

The picturesque facility, which is a popular attraction for locals in Inishowen as well as visitors from Derry and beyond, was devastated in the floods which hit the peninsula in August of last year.

The bill for reconstruction works is estimated to cost up to E2 million, which Donegal County Council is not in a position to fund.

The Irish Government has been urged to ‘step up to the plate’ and provide it.

Recently, Inishowen County Councillor Jack Murray revealed he has been “inundated” with telephone calls from people asking when the park will re-open - many of them from Derry.

Colr. Murray said the amount of visitors who had been coming from across the border to Swan Park cannot be lost, as they provide a welcome boost to the economy.

He set up an online petition calling for funding to be identified. Written petitions were also distributed across Inishowen. To date, there are over 1,000 signatures online from across the world and 4,500 written signatures.

At a meeting of the Inishowen Municipal District, held earlier this week, County Councillor Rena Donaghey asked if a “certain amount” of minimal works could be undertaken in order for the park to be made “operational” by the summer.

She said: “Can a certain amount of minimal works be done to allow the park to be operational - even the walkway around the river at one side?”

Colr. Donaghey pointed out how it has been six months since the flooding took place.

She said she understood Donegal County Council was “doing its best,” but said she hoped it could be opened in “some shape or form, in a way that is safe for this summer.”

She enquired if any money remained from scheme, which could be earmarked for works at the park.

Senior Roads Engineer, Seamus Hopkins, said he would be anxious to accommodate the ‘Crana Fest,’ which takes place in October. The two-day event is based on the Crana River on Swan Park for all disciplines of kayaking. However, last year’s event was cancelled due to the damage.

Colr. Donaghey said she would be very happy to see this accommodated as it huge tourism potential for Inishowen and the North West region.

Colr Murray said the petition showed the demand to ensure it is re-opened.

If you haven’t already, you can sign the petition at www.ipetitions.com/petition/save-swan-park