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Tag Archives: Inis Cealtra

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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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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Time to Deliver to East Clare, says New Killaloe Cathaoirleach

THE new Cathaoirleach of the Killaloe Municipal District has outlined his priorities for year ahead, saying now is the time for delivery, and that representatives must “have their hands up” for funding from national government. Councillor Pat Hayes took over from Councillor Pat Burke of Whitegate who held the role for two consecutive terms. The Caher-based representative was nominated by Fianna Fáil colleagues Councillor Alan O’Callaghan and Councillor Tony O’Brien. At the district AGM, Councillor Hayes thanked Councillor Burke for his work. “We are fairly unique in Killaloe for our positive working relationship,” he noted. “The parties are all in government together and we’re working together in Clare for the greater good.” He also outlined his priorities for the year ahead, including projects like the Killaloe Bypass and Inis Cealtra. “We have many plans in the pipeline in this district,” he noted. “What I want to see now is delivery.” Councillor Hayes noted that boundary changes had brought a number of other projects into …

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McNamara seeks Inis Cealtra sale support

CLARE TD Michael McNamara has written to the Minister for Tourism, Transport and Sport, Paschal Donoghue calling on him to support and provide financial assistance to Clare County Council to secure the purchase of Inis Cealtra (Holy Island). Inis Cealtra on Lough Derg is included among the early monastic sites on Ireland’s UNESCO Tentative List and is one of the most famous of such sites in Ireland. He highlighted to the minister that among its many attractions are a well preserved round tower, the ruins of six churches and a cell-like structure, which is one of the most extraordinary buildings in Ireland. “A Lough Derg Tourism Audit carried out in 2012 found that Lough Derg is not reaching its full potential in terms of attracting visitors and that Lough Derg has no defined ‘iconic’ visitor attraction that can act as a motivator for visits. “Inis Cealtra, with its iconic round tower, has the potential to be that driver of tourism …

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