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The second phase of consultation for the Cliffs of Moher 2040 strategy is now underway. Photograph by John Kelly

Group seeks to maximise local benefit from Cliffs consultation

A North Clare community-led group is strongly encouraging community groups, community interests and local residents to have their say during the current phase of the Cliffs of Moher 2040 consultation process.

The North Clare Strategic Planning Group (NCSPG) is a collaborative body, committed to the creation of a community of communities across the North Clare region and is offering to facilitate a shared community voice on the proposed developments.

The future of the Cliffs of Moher is currently the subject of heightened attention as Clare County Council, in partnership with Fáilte Ireland, plans for the future development and sustainability of this iconic location.

The Council has created a number of online and in-person opportunities for interested parties to have their say on plans for the Cliffs’ future.

Established in 2021, the NCSPG’s ambition is to facilitate communities across North Clare to come together to address significant regional concerns and to maximise local community-based skills, assets and expertise for the benefit of the region as a whole.

Referring to the Cliffs of Moher Phase II Consultation process as a “once in a generation opportunity,” chairperson of the NCSPG, Tom Barrett, highlights the importance of local communities airing their views on proposed developments.

“The Cliffs of Moher are important to many people for different reasons. For some, they are a tourism asset. For others, they are an integral feature of the area they call home that influences their professional activities and their way of life.

“It is of paramount importance that the communities which host the Cliffs of Moher have a significant influence on what happens in their communities over the next twenty years and thereafter.”

Mr Barrett said the council’s draft outline of its 2040 Cliffs of Moher Strategy is “a really important document”, presenting proposals, for example, on a revised business model for the Cliffs of Moher, traffic management and environmental preservation.

“Maximising the input of the local communities in the consultation is essential to ensuring that the emerging Cliffs of Moher strategy not only contributes to the sustainability of the Cliffs but also to the communities that host them,” he said.

To this end, the NCSPG is actively promoting community participation in the consultation.

Mr Barrett noted that “the NCSPG is already actively working on a response to the Cliffs of Moher consultation document and wants to ensure that its response is as representative of community sentiment as possible”.

“We are inviting people across North Clare to share their perspectives with us so that we can create a formal response to the Council’s consultation document, a response that captures key concerns and aspirations of those who call North Clare home.”

Members of the NCSPG will be participating in a consultation event in the Ennistymon Digihub, on Thursday May 19.

It will be focusing particularly on ensuring that the sustainability of, and benefit to, host communities across North Clare is placed front and centre of Clare County Council’s Cliffs of Moher (2040) strategy.

Following the outcome of that event, the group will prepare a formal submission on behalf of North Clare communities in advance of Clare County Council’s June 10 deadline.

“The North Clare Strategic Planning Group wishes to act as a positive and united voice on behalf of the communities of North Clare and to contribute to a successful strategy,” concluded Mr Barrett.

“Members of the group will be liaising widely on a submission with contacts in their respective communities. We also invite people to make direct contact with us by emailing info.ncspg@gmail.ie. All communication is welcome.”

For further information, please contact info.ncspg@gmail.ie or phone Lisdoonvarna Fáilte at 065 7075644.

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