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Tag Archives: Holy Island

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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Shannon tourism masterplan identifies Clare priority projects

HOLY Island and the Ardnacrusha hydro-electric power station have been identified as catalysts for development across the East and South East Clare regions in a new masterplan developed for the promotion of tourism along the River Shannon. The Shannon Tourism Masterplan was launched on Tuesday, after being commissioned by Waterways Ireland and Fáilte Ireland, and supported by Clare County Council along with nine other local authorities. The document proposes an investment of over €76 million in visitor facilities, along the river, up to 2030. Clare features in a Lower Shannon Discovery Zone which runs from Portumna to Limerick. Among the ‘hero products’ of this zone is Inis Cealtra. According to the masterplan, the monastic island will “form a core element of the emerging Pilgrim Way, offering clusters of early Medieval monastic sites of exceptional interest… at Limerick, Killaloe, Tuamgraney, Inis Cealtra, Johnstown, Lorrha and Portunma”. The new masterplan also underlines the importance of the proposed Shannon Greenway which will link …

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Plans submitted for Holy Island visitor centre

THE eagerly-anticipated project to create a visitor centre in Mountshannon as part of the Inis Cealtra Visitor Experience has reached a major milestone, with plans unveiled to renovate an iconic local building. The project, which is being led by the Tourism Department unit of the local authority, is tipped to be the ‘Jewel of Lough Derg,’ and has long been regarded as key to rebalancing tourism between the east and west of the county. Having taken 41 acres on Holy Island into public ownership in 2015, Clare County Council has submitted a Part 8 planning application for The Old Rectory building overlooking Mountshannon Harbour and Lough Derg. The application outlines how a mainland visitor centre will be developed to interpret the seventh century monastic site and its surrounds. The Inis Cealtra Visitor Experience is a collaborative project involving the county council, Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands (Fáilte Ireland), Waterways Ireland, the Office of Public Works (OPW) and the National Monuments Service and National Parks …

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Inis Cealtra project takes major step forward

EAST Clare tourism interests have warmly welcomed progress with the long-awaited project to develop a visitor centre for Inis Cealtra. Clare County Council announced this week that consultants, McCullough Mulvin Architects, Tandem Partners Ltd and Tobin Consulting Engineers, have signed a contract for the design of the Visitor Experience centre. The council is leading the project, along with a wide range of partners. Chairperson of East Clare Tourism, Arlene White welcomed a number of aspects of the plans to further the next stage of the project. “It is very encouraging to see the emphasis on sustainability and connections with the local community,” she said. “We want to avoid a situation where there are buses of visitors flocking and just barely touching down in the area. I think lessons have been learned, in that respect, from the situation at The Cliffs of Moher.” Ms White added that the challenge would be to ensure real benefits to the wider East Clare region. …

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New tourism plan aims to offset impact of Covid crisis

A DEEP crisis facing the tourism sector in Clare was acknowledged as a new plan was approved by councillors this week to guide the industry for the next decade. The role of tourism as the county’s largest indigenous employer was highlighted, with hopes expressed by some members that the authority might play a role in securing a national cultural centre for Clare. Outlining the impact of Covid-19 on tourism at the monthly meeting of Clare County Council, Director of Service Leonard Cleary noted that the new plan had had to take account of the pandemic. Head of Tourism Deirdre O’Shea agreed that against that backdrop, the strategy was vital. “The local tourism economy is in deep crisis,” she said. “Having a strategy is more important than ever for the next ten years.” Ms O’Shea outlined the risk to the 12,000 jobs dependent on tourism, as well as to the €266 million generated annually by the sector. “The strategy is still …

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