AN exciting new tourism project will be up and running for next year’s tourist season when a river bus will operate from the Guinness Pier across from Athlunkard Boat Club to the ESB power station at Ardnacrusha.
Backed by a €1 million investment, it is anticipated that the project will create ten new jobs and the promoters say that the 100-seater river bus will add a new dimension to Limerick tourism.
Starting out from a rejuvenated part of the city that experienced the full benefits of the Celtic Tiger, the waterbus route will pass through a peaceful water park to the historic hydroelectric power station. Standing over a hundred feet in the middle of the river, this 83-year-old heritage building was one of the largest hydroelectric projects in the world at the time of its construction.
Spokesperson Seamus Flynn told the Limerick Post that the river bus will complement the other great tourist attractions in Limerick, the Hunt Museum, St. Mary’s Cathedral and King Johns Castle which will have had several millions spent on it when it reopens for next year’s tourist season.” He added.
“Up to a 150 people a day can use the water bus at Killaloe. 300 people a day can use the Dublin City water bus, but these trips do not compare with the spectacular water attraction from Limerick City to Ardnacrusha”.
“The intention is to sail every two hours to the power station and the boat is currently being redesigned for the journey between the Guinness Pier and the power station. As safety of passengers is paramount, it was decided to use the Guinness Pier, which is tried and tested over 50 years by commercial and passenger barges”.
This pier is a short walk from King Johns Castle and the Hunt Museum. The new walkway along the riverbank by the Absolute Hotel is a five-minute stroll from the bus parking in the Courthouse via the Locke Bar and Barrington’s hospital.
“There is a big spin-off for the city with three to four hundred people a day expected to use the service, passengers can visit other attractions and generate extra business for restaurants, bars and shops”.
“Described at the time of its construction as the ninth wonder of the world, Ardnacrusha has been seen by less than 10 per cent of the people of Limerick and Clare – not to mention the significant international interest in it”, Mr Flynn said.