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Tag Archives: Inis Cealtra

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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Two Clare sites in running for UNESCO designation

DESPITE concerns about efforts to pursue a prestigious heritage designation for Inis Cealtra, it has been confirmed it is in the running for UNESCO recognition. Independent TD Michael McNamara congratulated Clare County Council on the news that two of its six applications to become part of a new Tentative List of potential World Heritage Properties have been adjudged to have potential. “I am happy to learn that the Cultural Landscape of the Burren Uplands and Holy Island (Inis Cealtra) were adjudged by the Expert Advisory Group (EAG) appointed by the Minister last June to have potential as a World Heritage Property,” Deputy McNamara said. The Clare TD said the potential benefits of either Clare site receiving World heritage Site designation by UNESCO would have significant positive impact on tourism in the county, particularly in light of the unprecedented challenges now facing the domestic and international tourism sector. “World Heritage Properties are sites of cultural and/or natural heritage designated by UNESCO …

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€9m+ for projects in rural Clare with more to come

OVER €9 million came to Clare from the Rural Regeneration and Development Fund (RRDF) in 2018 and 2019, according to figures provided at last week’s meeting of the Ennistymon and Kilrush Municipal Districts. The projects and amounts to receive funding were: Ennistymon Innovation Centre, €1,023,300; Lahinch Seaworld, €2,908,750; Vandeleur Estate in Kilrush, €1,975,819; Loop Head Visitor Attraction, €868,500; Inis Cealtra in Lough Derg, €920,500; Doolin Pier, €465,571; and Cnoc na Gaoithe in Tulla, €900,000. A report accompanying the figures stated, “The Rural Regeneration and Development Fund (RRDF) is a major programme of investment established under the National Development Plan which seeks to support large-scale, ambitious projects which can achieve sustainable economic and social development in rural areas. “The Fund is administered by the Department of Rural and Community Development (DRCD) with targeted investment in rural Ireland over the period 2019 to 2027.  “The purpose of the fund is to support job creation in rural areas, address depopulation of rural communities …

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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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Community Consultation on Interpretive Ambitions for Inis Cealtra Visitor Experience

FOLLOWING workshop held online in April, Tandem Partners Ltd, working on behalf of Clare County Council, is appealing to interested communities and businesses to register for a second Online ‘Zoom’ update so that Tandem can share their interpretive ambitions for Inis Cealtra and concepts for the Old Rectory building in Mountshannon. The Online Zoom update takes place on Tuesday, June 15 from 12 noon to 1pm, and registration is essential. Please contact Sheila@tandemdesign.co.uk by 10am on Monday,June 14if you wish to register. Tandem Partners will send a link that enables you to connect to the Zoom update. Only one person may register per form. This update will focus only on the interpretive elements of the project. Separately, Tandem is also interested to know more about the history and heritage of Mountshannon and would be delighted to talk with people who have memories of living and growing up in the area. For people who have stories and memories to contribute, there …

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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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