The River Quoile – our happy place

Tara Lynn walking at the River Quoile in Downpatrick.

Following the recent launch of Clean up the Quoile, Tara Lynn shares her thoughts on what it means to have dad Denis’s dream realised. Denis was a great believer that we should leave the planet in a better shape than we found it. And this inspired Foundation Earth.

In January 2020, my dad, Denis Lynn [founder of Finnebrogue and resident along the River Quoile] had the idea of cleaning up the River Quoile, which he found dirty and unclean. Once he focused his attention on something it was always left in a better shape than he found it. No task seemed too small or large to leave an impact; he was always a man on a mission. Dad was the man with all the solutions for the problems.

So why not start on our doorstep to restore the Quoile back to its flourishing natural state. The campaign was paused because of the covid-19 pandemic and then shortly after, dad passed away in May 2021, so the mission never got off the ground, until now.

However, dad’s legacy prevails through our family, Finnebrogue Artisan and the community – and will continue to make a difference even if he is not here to do so.

As a family, the River Quoile means a lot to us. We have many happy memories here as the Finnebrogue Estate runs along the riverbank. It’s where we stroll, walk our dogs, birdwatch and soak in the views. Dad told me on my last phone call with him that it was his ‘happy place’. And now it is our happy place.

It pains us to see the area degrading through lack of attention and investment by our local agencies. Ultimately this has spurred us on more as a family to continue dad’s wishes.

We are excited to be part of the ‘Clean up the Quoile’s campaign to restore the river to a state where it is a safe place for canoeing, fishing and birdwatching, or simply enjoying its beauty. If we don’t try to ‘Clean up the Quoile’, ultimately who will? We all need to take accountability as local people. The environment has nobody else to rely on!

It is fair to say that dad’s integrity and his mantra of ‘change for good’ has rubbed off on us. I would urge all local people, community groups and agencies to support the campaign and consider the next generation, who should have something really amazing to enjoy on our doorstep.