In all its glory, the Donegal Bay Waterbus - a key tourism attraction for Donegal Town
Donegal Bay Waterbus is one of the main reasons, why many visitors come to Donegal Town, the AGM in the Abbey Hotel, was told recently.
Waterbus Manager Eddie Marshall told the meeting that 40 different tour operators avail of its services.
“The economic value to the town is considerable.
“We also have cruise ships, and all the coach tours and passengers in Donegal Town.
“And in Donegal Town, we are the premier attraction.”
Mr Marshall said it was something that could “not be understated” and was something he did not realize until he became involved with the Waterbus.
“But yet again we need to adapt and improve in the future.
“We work closely with Bord Fáilte and Donegal Tourism.”
He added that the Waterbus is very much community based and supports schools, community churches, sports clubs and local community groups.
“There are 150 members from the various clubs that use our facilities”.
Meanwhile current CEO Pat Gillespie told the meeting that the meeting “knew what went on this last two years” and added “we are out the other end, I think”.
“We have changed the system in the office, we have contracts of employment in place and everything is going a lot smoother.
“We are happy that progress is being made and we went through a tight time there for a few years but we are on a good footing.
“We have a good board here in place, so hopefully it is happy days sailing ahead.
Elsewhere, under any other business, in response to a query from the floor, Secretary Brian Neilan explained the company’s plans for the National Hotel that was bought a few years ago.
“As you know we bought the National Hotel back in 2-13/14 period.
“Sean Quinn put in £100,000 into the Waterbus to purchase the National and it was bought for E130, 000.
“Sean Quinn has been repaid his €100, 000 and this has been done by getting a bank loan.
“We have sold the licence of the National for €55, 000 which was the going rate which we could not miss”.
Mr Neilan added that, the company would like to do something that “would benefit the town.
“We have a lot of people walking around Donegal Town on a wet day or a fine day with nowhere to go.
“We would like to put it up to the meeting, that if they wish, could come forward with suggestions or proposals.
“We will look at all proposals”.
He added that the Donegal Bay Waterbus was in control of all matters pertaining to the purchase.
Local auctioneer Keith Anderson said the licence was worth more than what the company received.
Mr Neilan said he could not comment.