top of page
  • Writer's pictureMichelle Weir (Local Democracy Reporter)

Plans set to progress for return of wartime boat to Lough Neagh in Antrim

Plans for the return of a wartime boat to Lough Neagh in Antrim look set to progress with preparations being made to secure the vessel ahead of its arrival.

Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council’s Community Planning Committee has been asked to approve a cost of almost £9,000 to provide “in-water” mooring and security for ‘The Joyce’ at a jetty on the lough shore, to include access control and railings, where it will be preserved as an outdoor exhibit.

‘The Joyce’ operated on Lough Neagh from 1943 as a torpedo retrieval boat. It was designed and built by the Admirality for use as a recovery boat during test firing of torpedoes.

The 40 ft vessel was decommissioned by the Royal Navy in 1960 and has since been used as a working boat in Weymouth.

It was made available to the council through Silvery Light Sailing, a Northern Ireland-based charity, which promotes maritime heritage in association with the Lough Neagh Partnership after the owners wished to “gift the vessel to a good home” where it will continue to be preserved.

Councillors have been told that council officers are “working with the Lough Neagh Partnership to develop the tourism offer associated with the lough and wider history of Antrim”.

Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council is seeking a slice of £3m Tourism NI funding which could preserve maritime heritage with an eye to the future.

The partnership will provide local authorities with funding in support of Tourism NI’s Northern Ireland ‘Embrace a Giant Spirit’ campaign.

The return of ‘The Joyce’ is one of the proposals being considered.

Landscaping improvements at the site of Cranfield Church and Holy Well in Randalstown are also being considered.

A number of virtual reality projects include a “virtual” introduction to Lough Neagh at the Gateway Centre in Antrim and the development of visitor attraction app are among proposals.


bottom of page