Praise for local support for tourism in west Cavan

Cllr Feeley welcomed the plan as “especially good news” for the local area.

The work of community volunteers in West Cavan, in supporting the delivering of a major new tourism announcement for the county, has been commended.

“The work of volunteers in Killinagh Community Council, the old West Cavan Community Council, must, as we move to a new level, be acknowledged as must the ongoing commitment of Cavan County Council to various improvements at the Shannon Pot and Burren over the years,” said Fianna Fail's John Paul Feeley.

His comments came as funding, under the Fáilte Ireland – Platforms for Growth Programme, was awarded to Cavan County Council to create a visitor attraction on a national scale for the Shannon Pot and Cavan Burren Park.

The flagship visitor attraction will bring together many parts of the tourism product in the area, from the story of the Shannon, to the geology of water disappearing high on Cuilcagh to reappear at the Pot, the unspoilt landscape of the Shannon, and the mythology and impact the river has had on the history and commerce of Ireland.

Cllr Feeley welcomed the plan as “especially good news” for the local area.

“I have a particular affinity for the Shannon Pot given that the now old house nearby was my parents first home and was the home of my mother’s family from at least the early 1800’s,” he said.

“This level of funding, to tell the story of the River Shannon from its source in the slopes of Cuilcagh to the Atlantic through the provision of a large-scale visitor centre together with improved access, several walks around the Shannon Pot will create a fantastic visitor experience that can put this part of County Cavan and the region ‘on the map’ from a tourism perspective.”

Cllr Feeley noted that previous investment in developing the visitor centre and the development of the walks at the Cavan Burren Park has already created a substantial visitor attraction. Phase 2 will now involve opening-up and interpreting the archaeology and geology in that part of the Burren as well as creating a dramatic visitor experience will take Cavan Burren to a new level.

That project was funded substantially under the Border Uplands Project with the matching contribution from the Government of Ireland secured by then Minister Brendan Smith.

“In welcoming this investment, we must acknowledge the work of the previous generation, those who in the 1980’s realised that there was something significant in the Cavan Burren and working with Cavan County Council developed the Cavan Way, linking Blacklion, the sites of the Burren, the Cashel at Moneygashel, the Shannon Pot and onwards to Dowra,” added Cllr Feeley. “From that one project so much has followed and indeed those including my late father and my mother who secured a small grant to construct a road which also served their home but also allowed people to access the Shannon Pot for the first time. His commitment to the development of these sites and the locality generally working with Brendan Smith TD laid the foundations for what has been announced.”

See next week's Anglo-Celt for full report