Reeling in the Year with Boyle Chamber of Commerce
Boyle Chamber of Commerce which has been led by Alan Cooney of Cooney Motors for the last two years and will be handed over to Bodo Funke for the coming year, reviews the year with positivity
Over the last year, the Chamber has been liaising or supporting financially, many local organisations to include Boyle Town Team, Boyle Tidy Towns, Boyle Courthouse Action Group, Boyle Arts Festival and the St. Patrick's Day Parade. Indeed many of our Chamber members are also involved in these organisations; All involved in the Chamber as with all the voluntary organisations have an interest in working tirelessly for the Business and wider Community of Boyle, working towards common goals and a vision for Boyle - to attract more footfall, through Business and Events and ensure Boyle is always looking its best.
We are delighted to be to be associated with the wonderful town enhancements and floral displays throughout Boyle, undertaken by Boyle Tidy Towns which also received great support and assistance from Roscommon County Council, Boyle Chamber of Commerce have committed an annual monetary donation to assist with the floral displays for the town, and extend our compliments to Amanda and her team on their Trojan work.
We congratulate the vibrant hard working Committee of Boyle Arts Festival on their wonderful ten days of attractions and Art which give great pride and joy to the locals as well as outstanding entertainment to all who visited Boyle during the festival in such large numbers. The Chamber is delighted to be a main sponsor of the Boyle Arts Festival which certainly keeps Boyle on the Map.
One of our Main projects this year, led by Cecil Draper, which finally has come to fruition was the restoration and erection of the Mill Engine - it’s installation at the Mockmoyne / Chapel Street junction, of the old Blackstone Single Fly-Wheel with it historic link to our Town provides an attractive feature when entering Boyle from the north West. Ironically the Mill Engine was purchased by Boyle Chamber under the Presidency of Seamus Cooney (Alan’s Dad), many years ago.
History of the Diesel Engine - Stewarts of Boyle (1932)
Hugh Stewart came to Boyle with his family in the early 1880’s. Having purchased a Corn Mill he soon established himself as a Miller of note in the area. Realizing that Direct Current (DC) electricity was a great new source of power, not only for driving mill wheels, but also to provide light and power to the local community.
He set out to provide Electricity using the power of the river to drive a DC Generator. In 1904 he negotiated a contract with the Midland and Great Western Railway to provide lighting for Boyle railway station. His son John (known as Jack) was apprenticed to an Electrical Company and became an electrician in the early 1900’s. This continued the family’s interest in producing Electricity for Boyle. To further improve the supply they purchased this Diesel engine to drive the DC generator. This was a Blackstone Diesel engine which would have been a top make of the time. The cost was £420. By the late 1930’s they had over 250 customers in the town of Boyle. In the following decades their Customer numbers increased. Even though the state owned Electricity Supply Board had begun to make AC power available through the Shannon Hydro Station at Ardnacrusha, Stewarts were still providing DC power to the town of Boyle.
It was not until 1965 that ESB took over the electrical supply for Boyle and the engine was retired after over 30 years of service - a great record. (Insert Photo)
Boyle Chamber have been funding the night lighting of two iconic buildings/landmarks in Boyle, to include Boyle Abbey and the Church of Ireland and can only support such projects through the Boyle Chamber Lotto which is ran weekly and is supported wonderfully by our local Community. A contribution was also made to The Railings at the Famine Graveyard, Plunkett Ave, and also to St Patrick's Day Parade which brings great crowds to our streets and allows our locals display their wares.
Continuous liaising with Roscommon County Council, to include Roscommon Partnership and Local Enterprise offices are a priority for the Chamber to ensure Boyle is always to the fore - and recent meetings with Minister Denis Naughton making him aware of the extensive voluntary contribution and effort from all the organisations in Boyle, we hope will lead to further developments.
Next year we hope to launch an initiative to improve broadband in the Boyle area for both business and residential and this is also a priority for our Minister and very necessary to attract larger businesses to Boyle.
However with Nine Businesses currently operating from the Boyle Enterprise Centre, we are delighted to report that our flagship project for the Chamber continues to thrive.
These include two new businesses who located to the centre during 2016 including Pro Cloud Horizon, a Boyle based company providing Cloud Commerce Solutions. Existing businesses in the centre are Sonar Solutions - A Computer Software Company providing solutions to Medical Services & Cash and Carry Businesses; MK Financials - Financial advice/Pensions and Insurances; Freqcon GmbH - Battery Storage Systems; Slugs & Snails - Childrens’ clothing designers; London Speaker Bureau-Event Management; TKF Training – Health & Safety Training and Role Skillnet - a Training Network for Businesses.
The Centre also provides meeting/training and conference space for business and community organisations. Facilities include high speed broadband, multimedia equipment, photocopying & catering on site. The Centre partners with the Roscommon Local Enterprise Office and Roscommon Leader Partnership to provide supports for new and existing businesses. The Centre also partners with Role Skillnet to provide funding and support for business training. For more information, visit www.boyleenterprise.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org
With support from the Local Enterprise Office and Boyle Town team, Boyle Chamber are delighted to have the Boyle TM website revamped and updated and showing Boyle at its best, and encourage all businesses to ensure their own listing is included or updated as necessary, this can be done by simply e-mailing email@example.com. We hope the site will increase commercial activity within the town and help promote Boyle as a great tourism location. It also enables us to keep the community updated on projects in which the town is involved. We now have established a facility to keep content fresh and up to date on social media.
Tourism: Boyle is truly the Jewel in the crown of Roscommon. We have actively worked with County council to help promote connectivity with Lough key and Boyle town in an effort to drive business back into the town centre. With this regard work is ongoing to establish a proper cycle route connecting the park and town. In previous years we have facilitated a Shuttle bus to run at peak times. We are delighted with the “Local Link route”, which was widely used to and from Lough Key during the Summer months and we encourage all locals to use the service both through town and on the wider routes - as if we don’t use it we could lose it. For an outsiders view of Boyle visit a wonderful review on www.thetouristczar.com
The redevelopment of the courthouse is a priority for Boyle and for the Chamber. In recent weeks, the first phase of this work has been completed with repairs being carried out to the roof and windows to the front of this landmark building. Support for this work has already been secured from both the Heritage Council and the Irish Georgian Society. It is hoped that the courthouse will in due course provide a permanent home for the Boyle Model Railway and a tourist attraction to bring more visitors from Lough Key into our town. Although it will be necessary to obtain grants to complete the planned works, the Chamber is committed to providing financial support to this worthwhile initiative.
Boyle Christmas Lights now exceed a value of €30,000 with fabulous feature pieces for the town, this was a Chamber0-led initiative over the last two years which in addition to an array of wonderful Christmas lights has also brought great comradery amongst the community and businesses through the erection and taking down of the lights and of course our Good Friday annual Bright Sparks Quiz. Thanks to all our volunteers and supporters for Our Christmas Lights.
The Chamber Lotto represents a very important part of the fund raising required to enable us work on projects for the town or support other organisations in doing their invaluable work, and we sincerely thank all our regular supporters of the weekly Lotto, who can take a bow when admiring any of this work that has been undertaken for the betterment of Boyle.
Boyle Chamber will liaise closely with Boyle Town Team working concurrently on:
- Supporting Boyle Courthouse and Model Railway Tourist Attraction
- Integrating proposed Cycle routes with wider tourist attractions
- Furthering the Town Enhancement Plan initiated by Boyle Chamber together with Tidy Towns in a funding application
As always we appeal to all businesses to make contact with any of us and get involved as the more people, with ideas and varying interests in Boyle, the stronger our voice, a Proactive Chamber - all working towards a united goal – to improve Business and attractions in Boyle. New people will bring new fresh and positive ideas. More established people have the very valuable gift of experience, so let nothing stop you….