Candidate calls for Lough Conn to be placed at centre of Mayo tourism strategy

Nestled in the heart of Co. Mayo, Lough Conn is Ireland's seventh largest lake.

Sadly, the lough does not attract the hive of fishing and tourism activity that it once did, which is a shame because it is not just a very beautiful natural attraction, but also has a fascinating history to retell.

That's according to Brendan Lavelle, the Keenagh-based Independent candidate in the Castlebar electoral area.

He stated: "Putting Lough Conn at the centre of a strategy to boost tourism in County Mayo makes so much sense.

"Obviously there are many trout and salmon anglers who would be attracted from all around the world.

“But it doesn’t stop there. At almost fifty square kilometres in size, and with multiple islands and villages with famous Titanic associations lying within and around it, Lough Conn makes for a fascinating day out for all the family.

"On its shores are sandy beaches and wooded trails that are ideal for families to explore.

“There could also be multiple opportunities to get visitors out onto the water for all sorts of adventures, from windsurfing and kayaking for the more adventurous, through to rowing boat hire and cruising.

"One example of the lough’s fascinating history is Glass Island. The island boasts the ruins of a Francisan monastery, and more recently was the centre for illegal poitin distilleries.

“The last man to live there died in 1952 aged 71 and was locally depicted to be the King of the Island.

"Due to it central location within Mayo, Lough Conn could become one of the biggest tourist attractions in the county.

"It would be a perfect destination not just for angling, watersports and bird watching, but also for families who need parking and picnic areas.

"It would also be an ideal day trip for schools and coach tours who wish to reveal some of the fascinating history of the area, including the struggle and the Titanic connection."