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Tag Archives: Holy Island

Holy Island visitor centre to greatly benefit Mountshannon

DEVELOPMENTS to promote Inis Cealtra will include a significant boost for the public realm, as the visitor centre in Mountshannon is on track to open in the third quarter of 2024. At a briefing for councillors, on foot of the announcement of €3.9m in government funding, Tourism Officer Joan Tarmey described the plan as “probably the most significant tourism project ever undertaken in East Clare”. She said the Council’s Tourism Department was delighted with funding announcement from the Department of Community and Rural Development. The allocation followed a successful Council application for funds to repurpose and extend the Old Rectory building in Mountshannon to create what Ms Tarmey described as “an iconic centre”. “The time has come for East Clare to shine,” she told members of the Killaloe Municipal District. “This is an historic period house from 1905 on a magnificent elevated site. it has a prominent location within the village and can contribute very much to the village. “The …

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Inis Cealtra centre a ‘catalyst’ for East Clare tourism

THE business community of East Clare has been urged to seize the opportunities offered by the development of the Inis Cealtra Visitor Experience centre in Mountshannon.  At a briefing last Wednesday for members of the Killaloe Municipal District, Tourism Officer Joan Tarmey described the centre as “a catalyst project” which will drive regeneration of the village, its hinterland and the wider East Clare area.  “This is a really ambitious tourism, conservation and village renewal project,” she said, referring to the €3.9m that will be invested on foot of a successful application to the Department of Rural and Community Development. “It will create and sustain rural employment.” Ms Tarmey noted the lack of a hotel in the village, as well as the properties currently vacant.  “Mountshannon once had hotel, but that has been closed for around ten years,” she said. “The vacant properties now represent real opportunities for businesses to renovate. There will be confidence that footfall will increase steadily. I …

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Funding Boost for landmark Inis Cealtra Visitor Centre

THE most significant tourism project ever to be undertaken in East Clare has taken a major step forward with the announcement of funding for the development of the Inis Cealtra (Holy Island) visitor centre in the heart of Mountshannon village. The Department of Rural and Community Development has today (Thursday, November 10) allocated €3,906,252 to Clare County Council for the Inis Cealtra Visitor Experience. The overall project cost is €4,882,815, 20% of which is match funded by the Local Authority and 80% is funded by the Department. Having taken 41 acres on the island into public ownership in 2015, Clare County Council this year acquired the Old Rectory building overlooking Mountshannon Harbour, Scarriff Bay and Lough Derg. A detailed design of the proposed transformation into a mainland visitor centre is currently underway following extensive public consultation and will interpret the monastic site and its surrounds. Once completed in 2024, the visitor centre building will comprise a reception area, three exhibition …

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Reasons outlined for Clare heritage sites UNESCO omission

THE reasons why Clare lost out on inclusion of two heritage sites on a list of internationally significant locations has been outlined, on foot of a question from Deputy Michael McNamara. The Scariff-based TD asked the Minister for Housing; Local Government and Heritage the reason why Inis Cealtra Holy Island and the Burren were not included in the UNESCO tentative list when they had been deemed to meet the criteria for inclusion on the previous tentative list. Responding, the Minister outlined that his Department initiated a review of Ireland’s Tentative List in 2019, following UNESCO advice to do so at least every ten years. Among the six sites included were Inis Cealtra and the Cultural Landscape of the Burren Uplands “In July 2021 I appointed an Expert Advisory Group (EAG) to evaluate each application on their ability to demonstrate potential Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) and evidence of local stakeholder support, both of which are essential for inscription on the World Heritage List,” he outlined. …

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Inis Cealtra centre ‘poor value’ says Holy Island OPW caretaker

AN East Clare boat operator, who been conducting tours to Holy Island for 32 years, has questioned whether Clare County Council’s purchase of the old Mountshannon Rectory represents a value for money deal. Described by the council as a “landmark tourism project” on the banks of Lough Derg, plans were lodged for a proposed new Inis Cealtra (Holy Island) visitor centre in the heart of Mountshannon village last February and were adopted by the council last May. The Old Rectory Visitor Centre building will comprise a reception area, three exhibition areas interpreting stories from Mountshannon and the island of Inis Cealtra as well as a community/co-working space and a revitalised Rectory Garden. Councillors were told at the January meeting of Killaloe Municipal District this visitor centre is expected to be operational by early to mid-2023. The Visitor Experience project to interpret the 41-acres island is a collaborative initiative involving the council, Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands (Fáilte Ireland), Waterways Ireland, the Office …

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Late Joe Dooley fondly remembered as ‘a man of the land’

WARM tributes have been paid on the passing of Joe Dooley, a highly-regarded member of the Mountshannon community, who was widely known and well respected through his long career as a cattle dealer. Mr Dooley, from Sellernane, was a popular figure across Clare and further afield and deeply involved in the farming community. The father of Senator Timmy Dooley, Joe Dooley was widely respected, particularly for his expertise when it came to livestock.  Paying tribute to his late father, Senator Dooley wrote: “A life well lived in his local community, witnessing many changes over the decades. His life centred around family, farming and his cattle.” A nephew of Joe Dooley’s, Noel Hogan from Mountshannon, described his uncle as “a mighty man”. “He was born in August 1928 and lived and died all his life in the same house in Sellernane,” he said. “As a cattle dealer, he would have walked the roads of Ireland, going to all the fairs. He …

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Inis Cealtra Visitor Experience brand unveiled

A BRAND identity for the Inis Cealtra Visitor Experience was unveiled this week as the landmark projects continues to advance. At the end of next month, a further funding application will be made to progress the project beyond the design stage.  The work of consultants, Design Works, was showcased at a presentation on Monday last (March 14). The brand identity focuses on the symbolism of the archways of the island’s ecclesiastical buildings and highlights the theme of transformation linked with stepping through these portals.  At the briefing, chaired by Tourism Officer Joan Tarmey, Project Manager Tom MacKey, from Tobin Consulting Engineers briefly outlined some of the work to-date. Mr MacKey coordinates a team that includes Design Works, McCullough Mulvin Architects and Tandem Partners. “We’re currently focusing on on detailed design for the re-purposing of The Old Rectory building,” he said. “In general, we’re hoping to be in a position to have a contractor on site mid-summer to start working with …

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Timeframe outlined for Holy Island visitor centre

A VISITOR centre for Inis Cealtra is expected to be operational by early to mid-2023, local councillors have been told. Confirmation of the purchase, last year, of the Old Rectory building in Mountshannon, provided a boost for plans to maximise the potential of Holy Island as a major visitor attraction in the east of the county. At the January meeting of the Killaloe Municipal District, Councillor Pat Burke sought an update on work to develop the centre and to provide visitor amenities on the 41-acre island. “The purchase of the Old Rectory last year was great news and very welcome for the whole of East Clare,” Councillor Burke said. “Since then, the dust has settled on that news and I suppose people have been getting curious about what’s happening next and they’re anxious to see progress. “The Holy Island project is eagerly-anticipated across the region and people are very optimistic about it.” A written reply from Tourism Officer Joan Tarmey, …

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