Nicky O'Callaghan and Cllr Vinny McCormack at Lough Sewdy in Ballymore.

Funding for Sewdy will help enhance Ballymore amenity – McCormack

The allocation of over €85,000 to a Ballymore group under the Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme is to be invested in development of a range of facilities at the local lake.

"The funding will be used to install new jetties, provide a boat slipway, enhance the picnic area and also install biodiversity and wildlife information signage at Lough Sewdy," Cllr Vinny McCormack, who is a member of the Lough Sewdy Development Committee, told The Westmeath Examiner on Monday.

He was, he said, delighted at the announcement of the funding from the Department of Community Development.

"As a Ballymore man who has spent much time on the shores of Lough Sewdy over the years, I am thrilled to receive confirmation of this funding," he said.

"We are extremely lucky to have a lake of such importance in terms of biodiversity and historical heritage on our doorsteps. There is a strong onus on us, as a community to project the lake and also to make it user-friendly for a wide variety of activities.

"The funding provided will be a huge help in attracting people to fish, and in attracting boaters as well as providing opportunities for our newly formed kayak club."

The Lough Sewdy Development Committee was formed in 2020 to protect the lake into the future after many locals became concerned with how overgrown it had become with weeds in recent years.

Alongside providing recreational facilities the group are currently trialling methods of tackling water-based growth and protecting the lake in its present form.

"As part of the lake committee I personally put together this application and submitted it to the Department as I felt we were an ideal applicant for this scheme," said Cllr McCormack.

"There are so many more recreational opportunities which we can develop at Lough Sewdy and the work we have planned with this allocation will undoubtedly open up many other opportunities to provide a safe space for people to relax and make use of the great outdoors locally.

"It also goes without saying that we will be protecting the unique habitats and areas of conservation which exist around Lough Sewdy in all of the works that are planned and through the biodiversity and wildlife information signage we will be looking to educate future generations of the rich tapestry of wildlife that exists on our doorstep."