Fáilte Ire­land to spend over €2m on view of the Blas­kets

The Kerryman (North Kerry) - - COM­MU­NITY NEWS - De­clan Malone & Joan Maguire de­clan­malone@eir­com.net 087 2535226 Joan@com­pu­cara.ie 087 2700273 WEST KERRY

THE Blas­ket Is­lands and Ionad an Bh­las­caoid will be up­graded to what Fáilte Ire­land terms ‘sig­nif­i­cant points’ on the Wild At­lantic Way. The move, which was an­nounced at an event in the Blas­ket cen­tre on Mon­day, is ex­pected to greatly in­crease vis­i­tor num­bers to the area.

At the event, Min­is­ter for Sport and Tourism Bren­dan Grif­fin an­nounced a ma­jor in­vest­ment of €2.25 mil­lion to cre­ate an en­hanced ex­pe­ri­ence for an in­creased num­bers of vis­i­tors at the site. This devel­op­ment aims to dou­ble the num­ber of tourists vis­it­ing the cen­tre to 100,000 yearly.

In­cluded in the plan is the devel­op­ment of a 170m walk­way and ‘sig­na­ture view­ing point’ (a term Fáilte Ire­land uses to de­scribe ‘ an iconic, must-see site’ on the Wild At­lantic Way) close to Ionad an Bh­las­caoid.

This is one of a num­ber of de­vel­op­ments at her­itage sites along the Wild At­lantic Way, in­clud­ing Car­row­more, Dún Aonghusa and the Ceide Fields. Over half of the €4.3 mil­lion al­lo­cated na­tion­ally will be spent in Dún Chaoin where, as well as the con­struc­tion of the clifftop walk­way, a num­ber of dis­plays in the cen­tre will be up­graded to in­clude in­ter­ac­tive ta­ble dis­plays in mul­ti­ple lan­guages.

The fund­ing for the devel­op­ment is the re­sult of a part­ner­ship between the OPW and Fáilte Ire­land and stems from the view ex­pressed by Fáilte Ire­land CEO Paul Kelly that: “Sus­tain­ing tourism growth in Kerry will very much be de­pen­dent on our abil­ity to pro­vide con­tin­ued im­prove­ment in the range and qual­ity of vis­i­tor experiences on the ground”.

To this end Fáilte Ire­land is pro­vid­ing 75 per cent of the fund­ing for the project from its Cap­i­tal Grants bud­get, and the re­main­der of the fund­ing is be­ing pro­vided by the OPW.

Min­is­ter Grif­fin said he was de­lighted with the in­vest­ment in the area. “I am de­lighted to see Fáilte Ire­land and the OPW work­ing in part­ner­ship to im­prove and trans­form the Blas­ket Cen­tre and many key her­itage sites,” he said. But not ev­ery­one is equally en­thused by the prospect of a con­structed walk­way in an area that is al­ready ac­ces­si­ble to walk­ers and suf­fi­ciently off the beaten track to be ‘quiet’ even at the height of the tourist sea­son.

In rep­sonse to crit­i­cal com­ments from call­ers to RTE’s Saol Ó Dheas, Cllr Sea­mus Mac Gear­ailt re­marked that while there were ob­jec­tions to ev­ery­thing - even the orig­i­nal devel­op­ment of Ionad an Bh­las­caoid which has made a sig­nif­i­cant dif­fer­ence to the area.

The project for the con­struc­tion of the walk­way and view­ing point, is in the plan­ning phase at the mo­ment and is ex­pected to be com­plete by 2020.

Ionad an Bh­las­caoid tells the story of the is­landers and their ex­tra­or­di­nary lit­er­ary le­gacy. It re­counts their daily lives and de­tails the com­mu­nity’s strug­gle for ex­is­tence, their lan­guage and cul­ture and even­tual evac­u­a­tion. Their story is told us­ing a va­ri­ety of means - ex­hi­bi­tions, in­ter­ac­tive dis­plays, arte­facts, audio vis­ual pre­sen­ta­tions and art­works.

Photo by Va­lerie O’Sul­li­van

Min­is­ter Bren­dan Grif­fin at Ionad an Bh­las­caoid with Fáilte Ire­land’s Di­rec­tor of Prod­uct De­vel­op­ment Orla Car­roll OPW Chair­man Mau­rice Buck­ley and Ionad Man­ager Don­cha Ó Conchúir.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Ireland

© PressReader. All rights reserved.