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Hopes high for air spectacular take-off

IT’S all go for the Lough Derg Air Spectacular and hopes are high the air show might become a regular fixture on Mountshannon’s calendar of events.
The air show is scheduled to take place on September 9 across the skies above Lough Derg. According to Dr Allan Mee, project manager of the Irish White-tailed Sea Eagle Reintroduction programme, the air show will not be a danger to the white-tailed sea eagles that have recently made Lough Derg their home, provided a safe distance is maintained. “I haven’t been told what their plans are but it is proposed that they stay a minimum of 2km from the shore and 1,500ft up, so if they stick to that then it will minimise any disturbance [to the white-tailed eagles]. On the other hand, if they overfly that shoreline then I think that would be detrimental,” he said.
The event is being organised by a local committee committed to attracting tourism to the East Clare area and highlighting Lough Derg as a tourism product.
This air spectacular, which is expected to include aircraft from the Irish Air Corps, stunt planes and stunt performers, will bring the skies to life for approximately three hours.
Speaking about the event, chairman of the Lough Derg Air Spectacular group, Gary Pepper said, “My role and my interest in this event comes from promoting the Feakle Festival for the last 25 years. I’ve been running the festival for those 25 years and I was the founding member of that, I branched out to the East Clare Tourism group and the Clare Tourism Forum and my interest is to see Lough Derg and the East Clare area promoted more as a tourist venue. It has so much to offer and this is a unique way of showcasing it.”
The committee has also engaged with Mountshannon Community Council who are hoping to organise events locally to complement the air show.
Views of the air show will be possible from all of the lakeside villages, including Mountshannon, Scariff, Tuamgraney, Ogonnelloe and Whitegate but the primary focus will be in and around the Mountshannon area.
While the event takes place over one day this year, the organisers hope that if it is successful, they might be able to increase the air show with the view of building a festival out of it.
John Harvey, chairperson of Mountshannon Community Council, confirmed they are holding a meeting this week to try to organise other events on September 9 in Mountshannon. He said the community council also hope the air extravaganza will become an annual fixture in Mountshannon.
Further details about the air show are available on www.loughdergairspectacular.com.


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