Public consultation on Holy Island Lough Derg development plan

Tourism and community representatives are being invited to an upcoming public consultation on the preparation of a Visitor Management and Sustainable Tourism Development Plan for Holy Island on Lough Derg.


Clare County Council will facilitate the event at the Mountshannon Childcare Centre on Monday 30th November from 5.30pm to 8.30pm.


Solearth Architecture was recently engaged by the Council to prepare proposals in relation to improving access to the island and the provision of tourism facilities on or near the island, as well as proposals on the marketing and promoting of the Island as a visitor destination, while confirming its historical significance and protecting its built and natural heritage.


Commenting on the upcoming consultation Brian O’Brien (lead Architect) of Solearth Architecture, said, “This consultation is happening at an early stage in the process and is about listening rather than presenting proposals.”


“The purpose of this consultation drop-in is to clarify the process that is now beginning. We are keen to listen to all ideas and opinions regarding archaeology, landscape, wildlife and biodiversity, cultural heritage, marketing and promotion for the Island and wider area, use of the Island by the local community, and visitor management, access and possible tourism facilities,” he added.


In June 2015, Clare County Council acquired 41 acres on Holy Island which, together with the 2 acres already in the ownership of the Office of Public Works (OPW), resulted in the entire island being brought into public ownership for the first time.

Dating back to the 7th century, the island is one of the most important historical and ecclesiastical sites in Ireland, and it has important links to Brian Ború. Buildings on the island include a 24-metre high Round Tower, an Oratory, and a number of churches. Holy Island is on the UNESCO world heritage site tentative list for Ireland as an early medieval monastic site along with Clonmacnoise, Durrow, Glendalough, Kells and Monasterboice.


The preparation of the Visitor Management and Sustainable Tourism Development Plan for Holy Island incorporates consultation with key stakeholders including the Department of Arts, Heritage & the Gaeltacht, Waterways Ireland, Fáilte Ireland, and local tourism, community and angling organisations. The Council is also engaging with the OPW as joint landowners and the body responsible for the historic monuments on Holy Island during the Plan preparation process.


For further information on the upcoming consultation, please contact Chris Chapman on 087 243 3691 or the Solearth Architecture office on 01 4005790.


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