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Spectacular new viewing platform opened at the Blasket Centre

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WHAT A VIEW: Róisin, Ruarí and Cibéal Ó hÓgáin, from Dun Chaoin, Chorca Dhuibhne, at the new Wild Atlantic Way viewing point at the clifftop site of the OPW run Ionad an Bhlascaoid (Blasket Centre) in Dún Chaoin in the West Kerry Gaeltacht. Photo: Valerie O’Sullivan

 

A new stunning addition to the tourism infrastructure of the Dingle Peninsula has been officially opened as part of a major programme of investment of over €2m in the Blasket Islands.

 

Patrick O’Donovan TD, Minister of State with responsibility for the Office of Public Works (OPW) officially opened the spectacular Wild Atlantic Way viewing point at the clifftop site of the OPW run by Ionad an Bhlascaoid (Blasket Centre) in Dún Chaoin in the West Kerry Gaeltacht.

The project, designed by Paul Arnold Architects, is a strategic partnership of Fáilte Ireland, the OPW and the Department of Media, Tourism, Arts, Culture, Sport and the Gaeltacht.

The overall project includes the restoration of the original house on the Great Blasket Island of the renowned island writer Tomás Ó Criomhthain, the development of a walkway and viewing platform at the clifftop site, and a major upgrade of the exhibition at Ionad an Bhlascaoid. Fáilte Ireland’s investment in the Blaskets comes under the Government’s Project Ireland 2040 strategy with the aim of driving sustainable growth in the Irish tourism sector and higher revenue and job creation around Ireland.

“The development of this viewing platform will complement the existing Ionad an Bhlascaoid which is an important national heritage facility which focuses on the unique literary heritage of the Great Blasket," Minister O’Donovan said.

"It also creates a focal point for visitors to the Dingle Peninsula along the Wild Atlantic Way to stop, slow down and safely experience the breath-taking views of the Blasket Islands and the rugged beauty of this idyllic part of West Kerry. The walkway and viewing point are accessible to people of all ages and abilities and makes extraordinary places such as this within reach – free of charge – to citizens and visitors.”

The Viewing Point is the first phase of a major re-development of the Blasket Centre, which was originally built in 1993 in conjunction with locally based Fondúireacht an Bhlascaoid.

"We are at an advanced stage on a major upgrade of the exhibitions at Ionad an Bhlascaoid which is due to commence in October, and will be opened in 2021."

He concluded that COVID-19 has seriously affected the tourism sector in the last few months. Government has identified the need to act quickly in stimulating the economy, especially around home tourism.

"I have recently launched the Free Admission initiative at OPW Heritage Sites, of which the Visitor Centre is one, to offer all visitors access to the many historic buildings and sites in Ireland. We all need to play our part in getting Ireland back on its feet again.”

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Katie celebrates 20 years in business

If you enjoy what you do, sure it’s not work at all – and that has been the case for Katie Hickey who has been in business locally for two decades. For the past 20 years Katie has been successfully running Sheer Beauty which is now located at 1 Hogans Lane (Hillary’s Lane). 

 She […]

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If you enjoy what you do, sure it’s not work at all – and that has been the case for Katie Hickey who has been in business locally for two decades.

For the past 20 years Katie has been successfully running Sheer Beauty which is now located at 1 Hogans Lane (Hillary’s Lane).



She said that it was a milestone she felt she may not reach on more than one occasion after coming through a pandemic, a recession, a re-location, and three maternity leaves.

However, she said that the loyalty of her clients over the years have given her great encouragement.

“Sincere thanks to my clients past and present who, without doubt, have been the reason I kept going,” Katie said.

Originally located in Fleming’s Lane for 19 years, Katie then re-located her business to Hogan’s Lane in Norma’s Flair for Hair.

“The beauty industry has evolved so drastically over the past 20 years. For me it is keeping things simple and enjoyable. Realising a client’s needs may not be the treatment itself but the time you give to them. Through the years you get to know your clients so well and some beautiful friendships have developed. I hope my clients have gained from me what I have from them. I have so many people I would like to thank and I will personally, but without doubt my husband Andrew and my family, 20 years in business would not have been achieved.

“

She has remained loyal to the brands she has carried over the years including Lycon Waxing, Aviva Tanning, Shellac and Jessica Manicure and Pedicure.

“I was also delighted to bring on board the fabulous facial range that is Killarney Organic. Killarney has been incredibly kind to me. I’m so proud to be part of such a wonderful community. If the past 19 months have proved anything for business it is together we are stronger.”

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County Board open to GAA museum proposals

By Sean Moriarty The Kerry County GAA Board said it would operate “an open door policy” for any plans to build a GAA museum in the county. There have been talks at a political level to build such a museum in Kerry with political rivals in Killarney and Tralee both pushing for it to be built […]

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By Sean Moriarty

The Kerry County GAA Board said it would operate “an open door policy” for any plans to build a GAA museum in the county.

There have been talks at a political level to build such a museum in Kerry with political rivals in Killarney and Tralee both pushing for it to be built in their home town.

Before he retired from politics in April, Michael Gleeson was campaigning to build a GAA and cultural museum on the grounds of Fitzgerald Stadium.

His campaign goes back several years before the recession set in, with a €0.5 million bridging loan secured from Croke Park along with funding from Fáilte Ireland. That funding was lost with the onset of the recession before 2010.

Tim Murphy, the outgoing chairman of the Kerry County Board, has confirmed to the Killarney Advertiser that no approaches have been made to the County Board at executive level during his five year stint at the helm.

However, he said the Board would be open to such approaches provided there is sound financial planning behind the project in place.

“The first and most important aspect is the capital funding and my understanding is there needs to be Fáilte Ireland funding in place first,” he told the Killarney Advertiser. “If it gets up and running, there needs to be very clear talks with all stakeholders so everyone knows each others expectations. A museum attracts footfall, but it costs a lot of money to run. We would offer an open door policy to all proposals but funding, first from a capital point of view and then from an operational point of view, will need to be in place.”

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