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Tag Archives: Holy Island

East Clare exhibition celebrates Inis Cealtra

A MAJOR exhibition focusing on Inis Cealtra is under way at the Scariff Library Gallery, to celebrate the fact that the island is in the running for inclusion on Ireland’s tentative list of UNESCO World Heritage sites. Lough Derg’s Holy Island is widely recognised as one of the most important early ecclesiastical sites in Ireland. The island, which is now in the ownership of Clare County Council who are developing a visitor experience centre in Mountshannon, is closely associated with St Caiman. The seventh century saint created a major centre of learning at the monastic site. Organised in conjunction with Mountshannon Community Council, the main exhibition’s main centrepiece comes from the excavations carried out by the Office of Public Works (OPW) in the 1970s. These works unearthed a range of important artefacts and revealed the different phases of activity and occupation on the island. The island’s archaeological remains include the iconic Round Tower, the ruins of several churches, an ancient …

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Holy Island and Burren in running for World Heritage listing

TWO of Clare’s most renowned heritage sites are to be considered for inclusion on UNESCO’s World Heritage Tentative List for Ireland. The Cultural Landscape of the Burren Uplands and Inis Cealtra are among six sites nationally being considered by the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage for inclusion on the list. The sites on the highly prestigious list are updated every ten years. Following a public call and a deadline of June 30, six entries were received by the Department. In addition to the two Clare sites, the entries include the Trans-Atlantic Cable Ensemble going from Valentia, County Kerry to Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada; the Royal Sites of Ireland located in Counties Kildare, Westmeath, Tipperary, Roscommon and Meath; the Passage Tomb Landscape of County Sligo; and Glendalough Valley in County Wicklow. An independent advisory group will now consider the applications to determine which may be included in the next list of World Heritage sites in Ireland. “It’s a huge …

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TD alleges cabinet interference as Inis Cealtra misses heritage listing

A CLARE TD has alleged Cabinet interference in the selection of sites for potential inclusion on a highly prestigious World Heritage listing. Deputy Michael McNamara made his remarks on receiving written confirmation that The Burren is the only Clare site likely to be put forward for inclusion on a Tentative List of Unesco World Heritage Sites. Currently, Ireland has just two sites recognised for their universal value – Brú na Boinne and Sceilig Mhicíl. Inis Cealtra had been included in a grouping of six early medieval monastic sites, alongside Glendalough and Clonmacnoise, for the 2010 Tentative List. Designation did not progress, Deputy McNamara told the Dáil this Wednesday over a lack of interest from Offaly County Council. The likely applications, ahead of a June 30 deadline, for inclusion on the updated list were outlined this week by Minister Peter Burke and include The Burren, Glendalough Monastic Site, the Passage Tomb Landscapes of Sligo, The Royal Sites, and Valentia Transatlantic Cable …

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Major East Clare tourism project takes step forward

AN AMBITIOUS plan to create the Inis Cealtra Visitor Experience has been given the green light, following a Part 8 planning application by Clare County Council. The signing-off on plans to redevelop The Old Rectory in Mountshannon was described at the May meeting of the authority as “a major step forward for tourism in East Clare”. Councillor Pat Burke said he was delighted to proposed the adoption of the Part 8 plan after a successful public consultation period. “There are exciting times ahead now for the area,” he said. “We recently had RTÉ’s Nationwide and Channel 5 putting a spotlight on Inis Cealtra and had a workshops with consultants appointed to the Holy Island project. “My compliments to all involved from the Tourism section of the council for the ongoing work and for advancing the Holy Island plans. This is another major step forward for tourism in East Clare and we’re getting there slowly but surely.” The motion was seconded …

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Inis Cealtra plan animated by rich medieval characters

EARLY medieval characters linked to Inis Cealtra will be given a new lease on life at the interpretive centre being developed in Mountshannon, to illuminate the role of the island as a pilgrimage destination and place of religious devotion. Consultants working on the Inis Cealtra project have been outlining what they believe are relatable themes and stories that will engage a wide variety of visitors with the history of the island. They have also promised that the exhibition space will promote the entire East Clare area. Earlier this month, Tandem Partners held a workshop on Zoom, which was attended by over 25 people including politicians, community leaders, tourism and hospitality providers. Those taking part heard how characters, including The Queen of Munster, Gormlaith, will form part of the narrative used to tell the story of Inis Cealtra and its significance in early medieval Europe. According to records, Gormlaith was a powerful woman whose marriage alliances included Brían Ború (976-1014) High …

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Holy Island at centre of plan for Lough Derg

Management strategy will link attractions on all sides of lake and spread the benefits THE full implementation of the Holy Island Visitor Management Plan is identified as a key objective in a new five-year Lough Derg Visitor Experience Development Plan, reports Dan Danaher. Clare County Council is developing a management plan to facilitate sustainable tourism from this sixth century holy island, which is connected across lake waters to a necklace of historic lakeside villages and harbours. Chief executive officer, Pat Dowling described the development of Holy Island as a local visitor and tourist attraction as an “exciting new project” for the coming years. “The council will be developing the island as a unique feature on Lough Derg. Holy Island has a long and wonderful history and it will be a very important addition to our tourism product in Clare.” Padraig Giblin of Sportworld Netting, Scariff, said it will be very important for towns and villages in East Clare to connect …

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New bus routes to boost tourism in East Clare

FÁILTE Ireland is set to support an approved Local Link bus service for East Clare, boosting public transport facilities for visitors and residents alike. News of the development was secured by Deputy Cathal Crowe who said additional routes will be added as part of the Shannon Tourism Masterplan, which was unveiled last week. The Fianna Fáil TD said that the planned investment will play a major role in rejuvenating the entire east of the county. “There is huge untapped potential in terms of Lough Derg and East Clare’s tourism product,” said Deputy Crowe. “For many decades, the entire focus has been on developing the Cliffs of Moher and West Clare’s tourism offering and while this has been great, it has led to an imbalance of tourism development within our county and there has been a neglect of the Lough Derg-Lower Shannon area for too long.” Deputy Crowe also noted the importance of the new routes in the context of the …

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East Clare’s ‘time to shine’ in tourism stakes

TOURISM operators in East Clare have been urged to get behind the development of a visitor and interpretative centre for Inis Cealtra, by supporting a Part 8 application from Clare County Council. Addressing the AGM of Tourism East Clare last week, Tourism Officer Joan Tarmey said the authority is hopeful of a funding allocation under the Rural Regeneration and Development Fund (RRDF) to progress the “landmark tourism project” for the region. “Looking at the long-term objectives for the Inis Cealtra project, one is to conserve it as a really important ecclesiastical site,” Ms Tarmey said. “We also want to expand its attractiveness as a tourism destination. These are the two long-term objectives. It’s massively important for the Killaloe Municipal District and it’s really important in raising the profile of East Clare as an attractive visitor destination. The elected members have really been on board with this. They’ve been really wanting to see this happen for a long time and pushing …

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