Launch of Erne Boat Rally in Belturbet. From left: Damien Mundy, rear commodore; Glen Latimer, vice commodore; Padraig Leddy, incoming commodore; Francis Cahill, The Seven Horse Shoes; Charlie McGettigan, committee and former commodore and Damien Broomhead, rally secretary.PHOTO: SEAN MCMAHON

Full steam ahead for Erne Boat Rally

The colourful 56th annual Erne Boat Rally will commence in the Seven Horse Shoes Hotel in Belturbet on Friday, June 2, with a wine and cheese reception at 7pm followed by a gala dinner dance at 8pm.

The rally did not take place in 2020 or 2021 due to Covid restrictions. The incoming commodore Padraig Leddy and his wife Maura are really enthusiastic about this year’s event in which up to 55 cruisers will participate. It will be a special moment for local man Padraig, after 25 years of joining boating enthusiasts on this famed weekend of comradery and entertainment.

"I am really looking forward to assuming the commodore role for the first time," he said. Padraig will be installed officially as commodore at the dinner event and will succeed Jason McElwaine.

The rally is a cross-border event and the boat traverses the entire river course from Belturbet to Belleek, with a number of stops enroute. The committee members tasked with staging the event are selected from the Belturbet and Lough Erne branches and the role of commodore alternates between North and South each year.

The vice commodore is Glen Latimer from the Lough Erne branch and the rear commodore is local man, Damian Mundy from the Belturbet branch. On Saturday morning the cruisers will set sail down the Erne from Belturbet to Drumrush, which is in the vicinity of Kesh and has a caravan park facility.

There will also be a stop along the way at the Round O Jetty for lunch. Then on Sunday morning, there will be an ecumenical service on the shore at Drumrush at 11am. After that, they set sail for Rosigh Moorings for the commodore's cheese and wine reception and then it is on to Belleek for an overnight stay.

On the Bank Holiday Monday, commodore Padraig Leddy explained to the Celt that they will set sail for Knockninny House in close proximity to Derrylin. Enroute, there will be a stop off at the Round O Jetty for a bite of lunch. The prize giving ceremony will take place in Knockninny House at 9pm.