The Rehab Waterways Adventure, in association with Bord na Móna, Sets Sail

Bluebell the Dragon Fly pictured with l-r Brooke Carr and Naoise Byrne (both aged 6 and in Senior Infants at St Patrick’s GNS, Ringsend) pictured at the launch of the Rehab Waterways Adventure in association with Bord na Móna. The highlight of the trip takes place on Sunday, 12th June at The Lough Boora Parklands in Co. Offaly with an event featuring lots of fun activities and attractions including the Great Dragonfly Hunt.

On Thursday, 12th May 2011, the Rehab Waterways Adventure in association with Bord na Móna, officially launches from Ringsend Basin at Grand Canal Dock in Dublin. The adventure sees the heritage boat, the Nieuwe Zorgen set sail for four weeks visiting towns and villages throughout the midlands of Ireland – including Kilcock, Mullingar and Athlone town – on an awareness-building and fundraising adventure for Rehab. This is the second year of the venture and at each stop along the route local people are invited to come and take a look at the heritage boat up-close and meet its owner and captain, Eric Kemp.

The culmination of the Rehab Waterways Adventure, in association with Bord na Móna takes place on Sunday, 12th June at The Lough Boora Parklands in Co. Offaly. Entitled ‘Unlock the Adventure at Lough Boora’, this fun-filled family event is now in its second year and will offer a range of activities for all ages including guided bike tours, face painting, arts and crafts plus much more.  The key attraction will be The Great Dragonfly Hunt which has been specially created for the event where children will be invited to help rescue the (pretend) baby Dragonflies before the hunters catch them. The Nieuwe Zorgen will also be docked at the nearby village of Pollagh and visitors can avail of a free shuttle bus to and from the main event to visit the boat.

Located a little over an hour’s drive from Dublin (just off the N52 Tullamore to Birr Road), the Lough Boora Parklands are owned by Bord na Móna and demonstrate the company’s commitment to long-term environmental concerns, bio-diversity and its “contract with nature” philosophy. The parklands consist of a magnificent collection of natural and man-made lakes, along with 50km of walkways and pastureland that provide a new habitat for flora and fauna.

Captain of the Nieuwe Zorgen Eric Kemp with dog, Oíche, Brooke Carr and Ellie Graham (both aged 6 and in Senior Infants at St Patrick’s GNS, Ringsend) pictured at the launch of the Rehab Waterways Adventure in association with Bord na Móna. The highlight of the trip takes place on Sunday, 12th June at The Lough Boora Parklands in Co. Offaly with an event featuring lots of fun activities and attractions including the Great Dragonfly Hunt.

Speaking of the event, Pauline Crowley, Head of Fundraising with Rehab, said “This is our second year celebrating the Rehab Waterways Adventure in association with Bord na Móna and we’re very excited about it. The Nieuwe Zorgen’s voyage along Ireland’s waterways will not only raise awareness and funds for Rehab, but also promises fun for all the family.’ Unlock the Adventure at Lough Boora’ was a great event last year and this year we are hoping it will be even bigger and better and will raise some much needed funds for Rehab. Across Ireland Rehab works in over 125 locations, supporting over 8,000 people in enabling them to realise their dreams, learn skills, access job opportunities and live more independent lives. Funds raised by the adventure will go to support the development of Rehab’s high-quality services in local communities throughout Ireland.”

Speaking on behalf of Bord na Móna, Gerry O’Hagan, Group Director Marketing & Communications says “We as a company are delighted to support the Rehab Waterways Adventure, which complements our “contract with nature” philosophy perfectly. The main event, ‘Unlock the Adventure at Lough Boora’ showcases our magnificent parklands in Co Offaly and we are looking forward to attracting even bigger crowds to the event this year.  It is a great opportunity for new visitors to see this beautiful outdoor facility for the first time.”

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