A LEADING East Clare tourism promoter has welcomed significant funding for Inis Cealtra, one which is set to kick-start the development of a visitor centre on the Lough Derg island.
The much-needed boost for tourism in the region has been greeted with open arms by Eoin O’Hagan, director of Derg Boat Trips, who described the Rural Regeneration and Development Fund (RRDF) as “very positive news”.
As part of the recent RRDF announcement, a total of €920,500 will allow Clare County Council to evolve a detail design for a tourism centre, create a plan for a new boat landing, develop visitor trails and the production of an interpretation strategy for the historic island.
“I know that Clare County Council have been looking for funding to progress the development plan for Holy Island [Inis Cealtra] and with this €900,000 that Minister Michael Ring has allotted to it is going to bring the development plan further down the road,” said Mr O’Hagan.
“It [the funding] may not get the visitor centre built in Mountshannon that they may have planned, but at least it can start the planning process.
“There are some underwater surveys that need to be done off the island and there is some preliminary work that can be done and this €900,000 can be used for that.
“It is a very positive thing for tourism in East Clare, a very thing positive thing for Holy Island, and definitely a positive thing for Mountshannon which needs this development plan to proceed to bring visitors
The funding is part of an overall €6.8 million allocation secured by Clare County Council for five separate rural regeneration and development projects throughout the county.