A BID to have the proposed National Diaspora Centre based in Bunratty has come to nothing, after the Government announced that the project will not go ahead.
Clare County Council had worked in partnership with Shannon Heritage and tourism advisers Sherwood and Associates to prepare what it called “an ambitious and detailed bid” for the project, which it wanted to build in Bunratty, which it claimed was an ideal site close to Shannon Airport and the M18 with an established tourism infrastructure.
After learning this week that the Government has decided not to proceed with the project, Council Director of Services for Planning, Community, Enterprise and Economic Development Ger Dollard said, “The council has been advised that the process underway for the selection of a National Diaspora Centre has now been terminated.
“This is disappointing in that a very detailed proposal had been prepared by the council, supported by Shannon Heritage and the Shannon Group. We will continue to work in partnership with all parties on initiatives that will enhance and provide new and innovative tourism product in the county.”
Explaining the decision not to proceed with the project, Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Paschal Donohoe said, “I have advised the Government that, following a review of the resources and options available for its delivery, I do not propose to proceed with the development of a National Diaspora Centre as a tourism project. I have arrived at this decision following a careful consideration and analysis of available resources, the principles contained in the soon to be published tourism policy and the Government’s broader Diaspora policy.
“The decision not to go ahead with a National Diaspora Centre as a State-backed project does not preclude any other proposal which is financially robust from going ahead, if its backers can make it work. I would be happy to see any good project, which tells the stories of our Diaspora, past and present in a sensitive and meaningful way, being developed.”