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Plane Sailing For New Coastal Glamping Village Later This Week

3rd May 2016
The Boeing 767 ready for lifting onto the barge at Knockbeg Point The Boeing 767 ready for lifting onto the barge at Knockbeg Point Credit: Quirky Nights Glamping Village

#PlaneSailing - A funeral director's ambitious plans for a unique 'glamping' site in Enniscrone will move a step closer to fruition later this week as he prepares to sail a passenger jet by barge up the coast from Shannon.

That's right, a passenger jet – a Boeing 767 to be precise, which David McGowan picked up for a song from a liquidating Russian airline, as the Irish Examiner reports.

McGowan is the entrepreneur behind the planned 'Quirky Nights Glamping Village' in his Co Sligo seaside town, where the former airliner will be the centrepiece of a development that will also feature repurposed train carriages, dry-docked boats London black cabs.

All will be refitted to accommodate a new kind of camper inspired by boutique festivals like Electric Picnic, people seeking the beauty of the outdoors and the comforts of hotels with a twist.

Quirky Glamping Genesis Skywalker Design

"I’m surrounded with death every week," McGowan told Today FM's Anton Savage Show of what prompted his imaginative idea to boost his coastal community's economy. "You need something to give you a buzz. You need to out and do something unusual.”

But getting the plane from Shannon Airport to Enniscrone posed a problem, as it's simply too big to transport by traditional means.

Hence the need for a barge to sail it by sea along the Wild Atlantic Way, and a specially engineered 'cradle' to lift it onto the barge.

That didn't come cheap – more than double what McGowan paid for the aircraft itself – but it did the job, and the plane is now ready at Knockbeg Point waiting for the weather to clear before the barge sets off this Thursday, expected in Enniscrone on Saturday 7 May.

A previous version of this article incorrectly attributed Independent.ie as the source of quotes from The Anton Savage Show on Today FM.

Published in Coastal Notes
MacDara Conroy

About The Author

MacDara Conroy

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MacDara Conroy is a contributor covering all things on the water, from boating and wildlife to science and business

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Coastal Notes Coastal Notes covers a broad spectrum of stories, events and developments in which some can be quirky and local in nature, while other stories are of national importance and are on-going, but whatever they are about, they need to be told.

Stories can be diverse and they can be influential, albeit some are more subtle than others in nature, while other events can be immediately felt. No more so felt, is firstly to those living along the coastal rim and rural isolated communities. Here the impact poses is increased to those directly linked with the sea, where daily lives are made from earning an income ashore and within coastal waters.

The topics in Coastal Notes can also be about the rare finding of sea-life creatures, a historic shipwreck lost to the passage of time and which has yet many a secret to tell. A trawler's net caught hauling more than fish but cannon balls dating to the Napoleonic era.

Also focusing the attention of Coastal Notes, are the maritime museums which are of national importance to maintaining access and knowledge of historical exhibits for future generations.

Equally to keep an eye on the present day, with activities of existing and planned projects in the pipeline from the wind and wave renewables sector and those of the energy exploration industry.

In addition Coastal Notes has many more angles to cover, be it the weekend boat leisure user taking a sedate cruise off a long straight beach on the coast beach and making a friend with a feathered companion along the way.

In complete contrast is to those who harvest the sea, using small boats based in harbours where infrastructure and safety poses an issue, before they set off to ply their trade at the foot of our highest sea cliffs along the rugged wild western seaboard.

It's all there, as Coastal Notes tells the stories that are arguably as varied to the environment from which they came from and indeed which shape people's interaction with the surrounding environment that is the natural world and our relationship with the sea.

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