The undertaker who made world headlines when he transported a decommissioned Boeing 767 by sea to his planned glamping village, has hit out at banks who he claimed treat the west of Ireland as a “no-go area”.
Enniscrone-based David McGowan told Sligo County Council that he hopes the first guests will be on site at the Quirky Nights Glamping site this time next year.
However, the entrepreneur who had hoped to be open for business this summer, outlined his difficulty in raising finance for the project saying he had been offered a bank loan, on terms which would have been “suicidal” for him to accept. He said banks had sought a €2m personal guarantee.
“As far as I was concerned I would be putting my family at risk”, said Mr McGowan.
He said the banks’ attitude was that “if it goes down, they are left with a hundred ton of scrap metal”.
Mr McGowan said that as well as being “very soul destroying”, this gave an insight into how lending institutions regard developers in the west of Ireland.
The undertaker said that he will now use Crowdfunding to raise the €2.5m needed to make his dream a reality.
He said he needed 25,000 people to pledge €100 each and was “fairly confident” of achieving that.
“I have 70,000 followers on my Facebook page,” he said.
He told councillors while there was a rumour out there he had run out of money this was not true.
“I am just being cautious. I think the banking system in this country is all wrong. I think they treat people in an inhumane way. They throw you out on the side of the road. They don’t care about your family”.
He told Sligo councillors that he had put the county on the world stage and had been trending third in the world on Twitter — behind Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin — on the night the Boeing 767 was successfully deposited on Enniscrone beach.
He has moved a decommissioned RAF helicopter, a London train and a number of former London taxis to the site.
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved