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Bank debts force sale of Lahardane’s replica Titanic

Titanic replica
‘Mayo Titanic’, over eighty foot in length, is now available to buy on e-bay and it is hoped funds raised by the sale will alleviate the debt of the Addergoole Titanic Society. Pic: Eamonn O’Boyle

Bank debts force sale of Lahardane’s replica Titanic

Anton McNulty

LAHARDANE’S replica Titanic is to go on-sale on e-bay to help pay off the crippling €80,000 debt which the Addergoole Titantic Society have amassed due to the non-payment of promised LEADER funding.
The cost of building the Titanic Memorial Park and hosting the Mayo Titanic Culture Week in Lahardane last month has resulted in the Addergoole Titantic Society running up debts of €80,000. Money to pay for the project was borrowed from the bank on the back of promised LEADER funding but with funding not being released and interest building on the bank loans, the group has now been forced to put their replica Titantic ship up for sale.
Dr Paul Nolan, Chairman of the Addergoole Titantic Society told The Mayo News that €75,000 in LEADER funding is not being released to them and they have no choice but to put their boat up for sale.
“The LEADER programme has phenomenal finances but for some reason are not releasing it to a variety of communities. We have borrowed money from the banks but our payments are overdue and we will have to use the boat to pay off the debts. We gave Mayo one of the biggest days in many years but it cost a lot of money and we are not able to pay. We have no option but to put the boat on e-bay and see what turns up. We may need a fairy godmother to sort out our finances,” he said.
Dr Nolan says they have not received an answer as to why there are such delays in releasing the LEADER funding and while he feels it may put off other communities doing similar projects, they have no regrets.
“We don’t regret anything and we have a fabulous monument which we are very proud of. It brought thousands of people to this part of Mayo and this is a long term investment to attract tourism to the area,” he said.
The boat, which is a one eleventh size replica of the real Titantic, was launched during the Mayo Titantic Culture Week and is now anchored on the edge of  Lough Conn in Lahardane. Dr Nolan said that hundreds of people have come to see it and believe it will draw a huge crowd wherever it goes. He said he would be delighted if they got close to €40,000 from the sale of the boat and feels there will be a lot of interest in it.
“It is a fabulous structure and at the moment it needs a bigger platform to draw huge crowds. It is an elaborate creation and when it lights up it is truly fantastic. It will be a huge attraction for anyone who invests in it,” he said.

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