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McGowan (right) and the plane
McGowan (right) and the plane
Image: Facebook

'Do I disappoint the whole country?': Funeral director hits snag in ambitious plan to move Boeing 767

David McGowan hopes to move the plane from Shannon Airport to a camping site in Co Sligo.
Apr 25th 2016, 2:29 PM 48,081 37

THE MAN HOPING to move a disused Boeing 767 from Shannon to the site of a new glamorous camping (glamping) village in Co Sligo has hit a setback.

David McGowan, a funeral director who is based in nearby Ballina, Co Mayo, has captured the imagination of people at home and abroad with his ambitious plan.

McGowan bought the disused plane from Shannon Airport for €20,000. It was originally owned by Russian airline Transaero.

He plans to turn it and other modes of transportation – such as buses, taxis and a train - into camping accommodation at the site in Enniscrone, Co Sligo.

The original plan was to move the plane via barge in March but this date was pushed back and the move is now due to take place on Friday week, 6 May.

Last Friday, McGowan held a meeting of all the various groups involved in the process – engineers, security, truck drivers, fishermen, the civil defence and gardaí, to name a few. Everyone said they were ready to go.

However, McGowan got some bad news on Saturday evening when he was informed that the tug boat to move the barge from Southampton in England (the only place they could find one large enough) is no longer available on the date it is needed.

947073_441991542658833_980272121862094359_n The plan for the site Source: Facebook

He has been told another tug boat has been located, but will cost €25,000. He has already spent tens of thousands of euro on the plan.

Delaying the move date is not feasible because of the logistics and cost of putting plans in place for 6 May.

‘Soul-destroying’ 

Speaking to TheJournal.ie today, McGowan said the news is “soul-destroying” but he doesn’t want to let people down.

Do I disappoint the whole of Ireland or do I just give them €25,000? I don’t want to disappoint Enniscrone or Sligo or the country.

McGowan said he and others have been frantically trying to locate another tug boat.

“It’s a bad situation … Everything is in place in relation to the move, everyone is up for it,” he stated.

13015529_475107282680592_3039515651716516641_n Old black taxis are also being used at the site Source: Facebook

The plane is 159 feet long, weighs about 70 tonnes and has a 140-foot wing span. The wings are being cut off today to help the moving process.

McGowan said he is doing everything he can to make the plan work.

He noted how much support he has received from the public and how his plan has brought new life to the area.

I wanted to get people thinking differently, moving on from the depression country was in.

He has appealed to anyone who may be able to help find a new tug boat to get in touch.

Contact information can be found on Quirky Glamping Village’s website or Facebook page.

Background: This funeral director is bringing a Boeing 767 from Shannon to Sligo for a new glamping village

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Órla Ryan

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