I had fulfilled my dream to become an officer in the army. After my back injury and recovery I had a new dream ... to sail around the world and only then decide what I wanted to do next and where to live. It was in the early stages of my second dream, sailing around Ireland in 1988, that I considered a possible alternative dream, which was to set up an Activity Centre (providing accommodation, instruction and associated services for outdoor pursuits such as sailing, mountaineering, orienteering, diving, etc), somewhere in Ireland. That’s how I found Corcreggan Mill and it seemed the perfect venue, for many reasons.
However, I devoted half my energy to helping a new friend, who became a girlfriend, to save her ailing bar business. As a result, I had little enough time, energy and money (mostly borrowings) to devote to my own project so I concentrated on the accommodation aspect of my ‘future’ Activity Centre and that’s why and how the hostel began. As time progressed, the needs of my day-to-day guests dictated the progression of Corcreggan into a tourism and workshop venue, rather than the planned, outdoor activity centre.
The map below shows the whole property and the sequence of development. In 1990 I restored the Cottage and opened the hostel there, with the campsite on the lawn (B1). In 1992 the Kiln House, (bottom B2) and 1996 the Carriage, (middle, B2) as further accommodation. In 1999, the Mill House (B3) was restored and opened in 2000. The Cottage is currently my home.
I have full planning permission for the development of the four Gallerus-style cottages, three of which have wonderful views over New Lake and the Atlantic ocean to Tory Island, intended as tourist accommodation for the tourist season and as secret ‘hide-aways’ for artists, writers and anyone needing a break. Seclusion and privacy being the number one priority.
B2, The Carriage and Kiln House (backpackers hostel accommodation) was contracted to be sold some years ago. The purchaser took possession, having paid most of the price but then passed away in 2011 so it is ‘in limbo’ at the moment.