There has been a positive response from tourism interests in East Clare to the announcement of €920,500 funding for the Inis Cealtra (Holy Island) project. In a piece by Carol Byrne in The Clare Champion, Tourism East Clare committee member Vera O’Rourke, says it is great news and she hopes that it will kick-start the project. While some may feel that it is a lot of money for the design and planning stage, “it is an important stage and it is very important that it be done correctly.” Vera, who operates a B & B in Mountshannon, says locals must be consulted as the project proceeds. “It will be great not just for Mountshannon but the whole East Clare area ” but she believes that national bodies need to get behind it and push Inis Cealtra as a tourist attraction.
Councillor Pat Burke, chairperson of Killaloe Municipal District, is delighted with the amount of funding and that the project is moving forward. Once the consultants came up with a master plan that was well received by the community, Clare County Council worked on the application under the rural regeneration fund. So much investment has been given to the preparatory stages because the project is sensitive ecologically and environmentally and this work will “ensure that the island won’t be damaged or interfered with.”