IF HE hadn’t been looking for something fun and different to do to celebrate his brother’s forthcoming wedding, Funmanway founder James Duggan might never have come up with the idea for West Cork’s first — and only — adventure land. But then sometimes having a great business idea is only half the battle.
“When I was looking for something fun we could do before my brother’s wedding, there was nothing around here,” James says, “That’s when I got the idea to start something myself. I owned 23 acres of land I’d bought before I went off to Australia, and I thought that would be perfect, especially since it had a hill. I got some help from the Leader programme.”
What James had in mind was something known as Zorbing — which originated in New Zealand, the nation who also gave us bungee jumping — and conducted in something that looks very like a giant hamster wheel, otherwise known as a Zorb.
“Get the ride of your life rolling downhill inside a giant 10 foot zorb ball on Europe’s only cornered Globe riding track. You haven’t screamed until you’ve globe rode the Yewtree Hill,” James’s website exhorts.
Funmanway also offers activities such as Paintballing, Kayaking & Mountain-Boarding.
“I had the idea in 2010 but of course, there was quite a lot to do to prepare the site, make tracks and all that. My father Michael was sceptical about the whole thing at first, but he set to with my brother and a cousin. I could never have opened Funmanway without him and without their help.
“We opened in 2012, to neighbours and friends. It was all done by word of mouth in the beginning. We had very little money for promotion. And that was a really good way of beginning, ironing out the kinks. It was slow at first but we wanted it that way. It gave us a chance to find our feet, at first, we weren’t getting any stags as I’d expected. It was mostly birthday parties for young teens. But by 2013, we had signs on the road and we were on West Cork own town maps and that made a difference. We began to have a stag party every week.”
Excerpt from Irish Examiner
Phone: 085 8060020
Address: Yewtree Hill, Derrylahane, Dunmanaway