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Independent.ie

Saturday 24 June 2017

Shore thing for tourism

Pretty parcel with own island has huge potential in Leitrim

Jim O'Brien

Jim O'Brien

A unique property with huge tourism and leisure potential has come onto the market in Co Leitrim. Set on the north western shores of Lough Allen at Spencer Harbour near Drumkeerin, the property comprises a six-acre island and a 10ac section that includes two piers.

In addition, the property includes a former brickworks site, the derelict Spencer Harbour House and a derelict labourer's cottage. Sligo-based selling agents Schiller & Schiller auctioneers are guiding the property at €550,000.

The property is located on the Drumshanbo to Dromkeeran road. The brickworks and harbour, which were developed in the 19th Century, were vital elements in the economic life of the local community. In its glory days, up to 200 people worked and lived at Spencer Harbour, which was named after Viceroy Spencer, an ancestor of the late Princess Diana.

The harbour, which was served by the Lough Allen Canal, which in turn was linked to the Royal Canal, was used for shipping red bricks, along with coal from the Arigna mines and cast iron from the nearby Creevelea Ironworks. Indeed, sections of the Ha'penny Bridge in Dublin were cast in these ironworks and shipped through Spencer Harbour. A small gauge railway once served the harbour.

Today, there are small traces of heavy industry, but tourism is the new business. On the neighbouring land, a new public jetty, with a full service block, has been built to encourage the Shannon cruisers to explore Lough Allen.

According to estate agent Bjorn Schiller, Spencer Harbour is a great location for tourism.

"It is linked to the Shannon-Erne canals and ideally suited to exploit the cruiser industry," he said. "There are lots of top-class tourism facilities in the area, such as the Lough Allen Spa Hotel, which has recently opened, and a luxury castle hotel resort planned."

The 10ac section of the property on the shore is described as good grassland. The labourer's cottage is in need of complete refurbishment and includes some stone-built outhouses, roofed with corrugated iron.

The six-acre Corry Island is located about 250m offshore from Spencer Harbour. While the island is mainly scrub, with proper development it could form part of a unique water sport/activity centre. Shooting rights over the lands and surrounding countryside can be made available by separate lease agreement.

"This property is an excellent investment opportunity for anyone with an eye to developing a business in tourism," said Mr Schiller. "There is a ready market in the cruiser industry and opportunities to develop other water-based activities."

Indo Farming