THIS weekend a very special barge returned to Fermanagh, bringing with it Ireland’s first floating art gallery.
Since Friday the Lovely Leitrim Barge Boatel is once again be moored in Enniskillen, and this time not only is the unique restaurant and B&B offering wine and tapas to local diners, but it will also soon be taking part in the upcoming FLive festival.
The first of exhibition of it’s kind in the country, the barge will be showcasing not only owners Mary McInerney and Jorn Bjerknes’ own art collection, but also the talent of local artist Noelle McAlinden.
“We’re really looking forward to going back to Enniskillen,” said Mary. “We like people to book if they can because we’re so busy. The last time we were in Enniskillen we were turning people away.”
The barge, which has been growing and growing in popularity over the year-and-a-half since the couple opened it last April, was booked up on Friday and Saturday night due to the Happy Days Beckett festival, but will be in town for six weeks.
In the future, Mary and Jorn, who live on a another barge, hope to take the business as far as Lusty Beg and Belleek, having already taken it around waterways throughout Leitrim and surrounding counties.
The idea for this unique venture came to the couple on holiday, Mary recalled.
“I used to do film location, and I enjoy the cooking and all that sort of stuff,” she said. “Then Jorn and I went on holiday to India and rented a hotel barge in India. We kind of got the idea from there.
“We decided to come back and built the boat from scratch, and have a floating restaurant and hotel barge.”
To book a meal on Lovely Leitrim Barge, which is currently moored at Regals Pass, call 00353873583716 or visit the Lovely Leitrim Barge on Facebook.