Cliffs of Plenty? Council won’t spend Cliffs millions on tourism infrastructure

The Dereen Road out of Lahinch. Natasha Barton

Clare County Council will not divert funds raised at the Cliffs of Moher Visitors Experience to repair key tourism infrastructure in the North Clare area, ahead of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open.

Speaking at last week’s meeting of the Kilrush Municipal District, Cllr Bill Slattery (FG) asked that the local authority consider diverting money from the centre, which attracted 1.6 million visitors last year, to undertake key local works.

Cllr Slattery mentioned that the southern approach to the Cliffs of Moher at Dereen and the Cliffs of Moher Walk, which is operated by Clare Local Development Company, as projects which could be funded.

Leonard Cleary of Clare County Council said the council would work with the Department of Environment to secure funding for these projects.

“We intend to apply common sense here. We intend to do the right thing for the tourism industry in North Clare,” he said.

“We want to work with the Department [of the Environment] in relation to this road [Dereen]. There is a clear business case to say that this road should be invested in,” he added.

Clare County Council said it is confident that the Doreen road and a major water and road upgrade in Ennistymon will be complete before the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open takes place in July.

Irish Water is currently preparing to upgrade the water mains in Ennistymon, with Clare County Council set to resurface the main street afterwards. Roadworks at Dereen in Liscannor are also set to be completed in May.

“I have been told that they [Irish Water] are on track to meet the deadline. The intention is to have it done by mid-April, by which time we should have a contractor on board [to resurface the road]. It should take up to five days,” said a council spokesperson.

“As we stand now, I am confident that both projects will be done by the start of July. We are aiming for the beginning of May for both. The focus this summer is on the Irish Open so we want to have things done before that.”

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