By Róise Collins
THE popular Ionad Cois Locha in Dunlewey is preparing to reopen its doors following a lengthy closure as a result of the pandemic.
General Manager at Ionad Cois Locha, Beulach Croker, said there has been a huge effort to get the centre “back in action” ahead of the reopening.
The centre has been busy organising a significant recruitment drive in recent weeks. They are currently looking for a chef or people with kitchen experience, to staff their 120-seater restaurant.
When the Dunlewey Centre first opened over 30 years ago, their focus was to provide employment to people in the area through the Irish language. Beulach said working there was a “rite of passage” for many young people in the area.
Despite their closure a core staff of 11 people continued to work and Beulach described them as “superheroes”.
“They maintained the centre, and without them it would have fallen apart,” she added.
The centre also recently received a grant of €132,000 from the Rural Regeneration and Development Fund to complete necessary refurbishments, including in the playground which has been completely replaced and upgraded.
Unfortunately due to staggering insurance costs the centre has had to bid farewell to a lot of their most popular activities, including the mechanical bull, the bungee trampolines and the zorb balls.
“We are hoping that things will change in the future, but this year not a single person would quote us for the mechanical bull,” Beulach said.
But if you are planning a trip to the centre, don’t worry there are still plenty of exciting activities including the boat tour of the stunning lake at the foot of Errigal, the traditional cottage and the famous paddle boats.
The reopening date is yet to be confirmed. However Saturday, July 1 is looking very promising, Beulach said.