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Tag Archives: Inis Cealtra

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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Anger over lack of action on Inis Cealtra heritage designation

THE Burren will be the only Clare site proposed by the local authority for inclusion on a global list of outstanding heritage locations. The council confirmed to The Champion that an application is currently being made to keep The Burren on Ireland’s Tentative List. This means it could eventually go forward for potential future nomination to the UNESCO World Heritage List, joining the likes of Brú na Bóinne and Skellig Micheal. “Neither Inis Cealtra (Holy Island) nor Cahercommaun Ringfort are at present under consideration by the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage in this round of nominations,” a council statement said. It added that the council is committed to “keeping this under review”. The news has met an angry response from Deputy Michael McNamara who previously called for the three Clare sites to be put forward, as well as Scattery Island (Inis Cathaigh) and Mooghaun Hillfort. “It beggars belief that the council would purchase Holy Island and a venue …

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Global status bid for Clare heritage sites branded ‘lacklustre’

GLOBAL status for a number of Clare heritage sites has the potential to bolster tourism in the wake of the pandemic, according to Clare’s Independent TD. Deputy Michael McNamara is urging the council to get behind efforts to secure UNESCO world heritage status for a number of Clare sites including Inis Cealtra. In a strongly-worded statement, the Scariff native contrasted the efforts to light global tourism sites in green for St Patrick’s Day with what he sees as a lack of action on securing longer international heritage status. Deputy McNamara described Ireland’s efforts to green global historic sites such as the Sydney Opera House, the Leaning Tower of Pisa and the Pyramids of Giza for St Patrick’s Day as in marked contrast to “lacklustre efforts to win recognition for historic sites in our own country”. Nationally, a review is taking place of a tentative list for consideration by UNESCO, which has the power to award a permanent international designation to selected heritage sites. The closing date for councils to make their …

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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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Waterways Ireland plan new Lough Derg mooring points

THREE new ‘tranquillity moorings’ are being proposed for sites along Lough Derg’s Clare shoreline. Waterways Ireland has lodged applications with Clare County Council to build the moorings at Castle Bawn Bay, Ogonnelloe; at the mouth of the Scariff River; and on another site North West of Inis Cealtra, close to Knockaphort Jetty, around 130m from the lakeshore. Consultants who worked on the application noted that the lake is currently used for recreational boating, mainly during the summer months. “Casual boat mooring occurs within quieter inlets outside of the existing navigational markers, with boats dropping anchor near parts of the shoreline,” they note. “The proposed development aims to formalise mooring facilities in these areas, but discourage more casual mooring closer to the lake shore.” If granted permission, the development off Knockaphort Jetty would involve a new floating mooring buoy anchored by a concrete weight, sitting on the lake bed connected by a galvanised steel chain. That proposed mooring would only be …

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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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