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Tag Archives: Holy Island

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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Holy Island at centre of new plan to develop Lough Derg tourism

THE conversion of historic buildings in Tuamgraney, Scariff and Mountshannon for use as visitor accommodation is among the recommendations of a new tourism plan for the area around Lough Derg. The draft Visitor Experience Development Plan for Lough Derg (2020-2024) is currently open to public submissions, and puts a focus on the development of Killaloe-Ballina as a lakeside destination, as well as the promotion of Inis Cealtra and urban centres close to it. The new draft plan builds on the Lough Derg Road Map of 2014-2017 and outlines a vision for tourism development for the next four to five years. One of the key stakeholders promoting the document is the Lough Derg Marketing Group (LDMG) which has drawn down funding from the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport as well as the agencies from Clare, Tipperary and Galway, who feed into its activities. The draft plan sets out coordinated priorities for the LDMG in developing the visitor economy around Lough …

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Hopes for salvation of East Clare tourism season

HOPES continue to be expressed that the tourism season in East Clare can be salvaged to some degree, despite the severe blow dealt to the region by Covid-19. Chairperson of East Clare Tourism Arlene White said the season to-date “has not been a total washout” and that the potential of the area to offer people activities in nature and at uncrowded locations continued to be realised. “It is nothing like it should be, naturally,” she said. “People are out and about walking and kayaking though and it’s not quite bad as people had feared.” There is a widespread acknowledgement that, when it comes to accommodation, self-catering providers are faring best. “In some cases,” Arlene said, “demand is out-stripping supply and self-catering is booming.” That situation contrasts with the plight faced by traditional Bed and Breakfast accommodation. “I do know of some in East Clare who have decided, for the protection of their own health, that they won’t open this year,” …

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Person Detained Over Mountshannon Arson

Gardaí in Killaloe have arrested a person in connection with the arson attack on the Holy Island Tours trailer which occurred at Mountshannon Harbour in the early hours of Tuesday morning [June 26] and are currently investigating a second arson in the same location. Inspector David Finnerty of Killaloe Garda Station said they have arrested a “person of interest” in relation to the arson attack at the harbour on Tuesday and are detaining this individual under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act 1984. Under this provision the suspect can be detained for up to a maximum period of 24 hours. The arrest has come as a result of enquiries carried out by garda on Tuesday and due to the cooperation of members of the public. Gardaí received a report this morning, Thursday, of a fire on a boat in the vicinity of Holy Island Tours, however they confirmed that the boat was unconnected to this business. Although it is …

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18 submissions on Inis Cealtra plan

CLARE County Council has confirmed that it has received 18 written submissions to the Draft Inis Cealtra Visitor Management and Sustainable Tourism Development Plan. Submissions were made by members of the public and statutory authorities to the draft plan and the associated strategic environmental assessment, the habitats directive assessment and the strategic flood risk assessment. The process of reviewing and considering these submissions is underway. When it is complete, the draft plan will be amended to become the final plan. Brian McCarthy, senior planner, outlined the details on foot of a motion by Councillor Pat Burke. He asked the local authority to detail the number of submissions received from the public following the launch of the draft plan and to outline the next steps in the process. Mr McCarthy said, “It is intended that the Inis Cealtra Visitor Management and Sustainable Tourism Development Plan will be presented to the local community in July 2017, thus concluding the plan-making process”. Councillor …

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