Now when visitors approach the road that runs through the coastal village of Burtonport, they are greeted by a new sign, “Welcome to Burtonport”, that features a sailboat on pristine waters. Another colourful sign directs people to the Lobster Pot restaurant. A freshly painted open boat, donated by the family of Timothy Boyle of Burtonport, is filled with flowers.
The newly decorated approach and a new memorial to people lost to the sea were two of this year’s priorities for the Burtonport Action Group.
“We’ve pretty well completed all the projects that we outlined right at the beginning,” said Frank Green, group secretary. “We need to sit down and work out what we’ve got left to do. But yeah, we’re still going strong.”
Last weekend’s events included the dedication of the boat and the memorial, and the launch of an exhibit at the new Burtonport welcome centre called, “Reflections of Burtonport”, a look at the local fishing industry.
On Friday, pipers led the people gathered at the flower-filled boat to the welcome centre, the former Cope supermarket building that the action group and community volunteers transformed early this year. There they launched the exhibit, which includes the work of local artists, artefacts of the fishing industry and scale models of Burtonport fishing boats that local families had commissioned or made themselves.
“It is a wonderful exhibition,” said Mario Cafolla, action group chairperson. “I think it’s the first time all this stuff has been in one place -- really lovely.” Saturday was a children’s day that included screenings of archival film of Burtonport, now being shown at the welcome centre.
The memorial stone in the new garden of reflection at the dry dock remembers “all souls lost to the sea”. Father Pat Ward blessed the garden on Sunday. Frank said the memorial garden was “tremendously well supported” through community donations. “It really does belong to the community,” he said.
The group hopes to have a water festival in August and a concert in September. In the autumn there will be an AGM, Frank said, adding, “At that point we look at what comes next.”