35 Cork Wild Atlantic Way Points receive Govt funding

18 September 2015
By Bryan T. Smyth


The Minister of State for Tourism and Sport, Michael Ring TD, today launched a new €3.5m phase of the Wild Atlantic Way with further development for the touring route’s 188 designated Discovery Points.

With the intention of bringing each site to life and encouraging visitor engagement, it is planned to have photo-friendly marker points and interpretation panels – explaining the significance of each point – installed at each of the Wild Atlantic Way’s Discovery Points ahead of next year’s tourism season.

The 35 Discovery points in Co. Cork which are due to benefit include:

  • Kenmare River View
  • Dooneen
  • Garnish Point
  • Dursey Island
  • Gour
  • Castletownbere Harbour
  • Pontoon Pier
  • Bere Island – east end pier
  • Bere Island – west end pier
  • Whiddy Island View
  • Glengarriff Harbour
  • Blue Pool
  • Garinish Island
  • Bantry Harbour
  • Whiddy Island
  • Seefin Viewpoint
  • Sheep’s Head
  • Altar
  • Barley Cove
  • Mizen Head
  • Schull Harbour
  • Colla Pier
  • Cléire
  • Long Island
  • Sherkin Island
  • Heir Island
  • Cunnamore Pier
  • Baltimore Harbour
  • Inishbeg
  • Lough Hyne
  • Toe Head Bay
  • Galley Head
  • Inchydoney Beach
  • Timoleague Abbey
  • Old Head of Kinsale

Speaking today, Minister Ring said:

“The Wild Atlantic Way, already being hailed as a game-changer for counties along the western seaboard such as Co. Cork, continues to evolve. Today marks another significant step in that evolution as we begin to bring to life the stories along the route and create opportunities for tourists to explore each Discovery Point.

“We don’t want people rushing along the route but instead we want them to fully engage with this part of Ireland. This investment in the Wild Atlantic Way’s Discovery Points is intended to encourage those who travel along the route to slow down, catch their bearings and explore all there is to offer nearby. In this way, we will attract more visitors and persuade them to stay longer.”

Fáilte Ireland has been working with Local Authorities along the Atlantic coast, including Cork County Council, to complete this crucial upgrade of the Wild Atlantic Way’s designated Discovery Points. This work will involve the installation of Photo Points at all sites which are designed to literally ‘frame’ the photographs taken by visitors at beauty spots and scenic views along the route. The work will also involve the erection of sturdy weather-proof interpretation panels at each point to tell the relevant stories for each particular area and Fáilte Ireland has worked with a number of communities along the route to bring these stories to life. The interpretation panel will also include information advising visitors of other things to do and see in the area and will also include an orientation map of the immediate surrounding area.

Fáilte Ireland CEO, Shaun Quinn, emphasised:

“We really want to improve the visitor experience along the Wild Atlantic Way and give visitors opportunities to learn from, engage with and share what they encounter in Co. Cork. The photo points, for example, are located at the most scenic spot of each Discovery Point and are intended to provide a sense of arrival at that place and encourage visitors to have their pictures taken with the spectacular scenery on hand in the background. We hope that this not only encourages them to engage with the view but also to share their images with friends and family online and via social media.”

The total investment, nationally, for this phase of development for all the discovery points is €3.5m and it is expected that all work will be completed by Local Authorities in time for the 2016 tourism season. This investment for the Wild Atlantic Way also includes a remedial works programme which will entail the repair of surfaces, boundary walls and fencing and the general tidying up and presentation of these sites.

During the original development of the Wild Atlantic Way route, a number of existing viewing points and lay-bys were identified and established as Wild Atlantic Way Discovery Points – including those designated as such in Co. Cork. Fáilte Ireland worked with the relevant Local Authorities along the route to carry out remedial works for each of these points to ensure that the sites were presentable for this year’s (2015) tourist season. Today’s announcement marks the next stage of development of these sites and will further enhance their appeal to visitors.

Finally, it should be noted that environmental issues have been taken into account when planning any developments along the Wild Atlantic Way and great care has been taken to ensure that all works are carried out in an environmentally friendly manner that ensures that sensitive areas are fully protected.

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