Thursday, April 15, 2021

Sarah Mooney

The Government has announced funding of €19 million to build “world-class” facility centres at beaches and inland water spots across the country.

The centres at 22 different locations will provide hot showers, changing and toilet facilities, secure storage, induction spaces, equipment washdown and orientation points.

They will be built using sustainability “best practices” such as solar heating panels to meet nearly zero energy building standards, and will be fully wheelchair accessible.

Announcing the investment scheme, developed in partnership with Fáilte Ireland and local authorities, Minister for Tourism Catherine Martin said the new centres would support local economies and the outdoor water-based activity sector “by significantly improving the overall visitor experience”.

Minister for Tourism Catherine Martin said the new centres would support local economies and the outdoor water-based activity sector. Photo: Courtesy of Fáilte Ireland.

“Ireland is world-class when it comes to providing water-based activities which are enjoyed by local communities and visitors along our stunning coastline, rivers and lakes,” she said.

“We’ve seen a significant upward trend in people enjoying outdoor water activities over the last year and we know the appeal of the outdoors will continue to grow post-Covid-19 so we must ensure the Irish experience meets and exceeds visitor expectations.”

The Minister said the centres would be “sustainable, accessible and integrate into the natural environment of their locations.”

Extend tourism season

They will also allow the “extension of the traditional tourism season beyond the summer months,” Ms Martin added.

Paul Kelly, chief executive of Fáilte Ireland said:  “Our temperate climate can offer year-round quality outdoor experiences.

“In order for Ireland to be recognised internationally as a best-in-class activity destination it is critical that we invest in building a sustainable activity infrastructure, compelling visitor experiences and developing the capacity of activity providers.”

Mr Kelly said the investment scheme would create new opportunities for activity operators to benefit local jobs and businesses while helping spread visitors across the regions.

Phase 1 of the scheme has an expected completion date of summer 2022, with a potential second phase in 2023.

Moira Murrell, chair of the County and City Management Association (CCMA) community and tourism committee, said the amenities would also benefit local communities.

“Amenities like this are not only of benefit to visitors but also to the local community, and we look forward to creating further opportunities for participants and providers of water-based activities and further strengthening our nationwide appeal as a world-class activity tourism destination,” she said.

Locations

Facility Centre Location Local Authority  Regional Brand
Docklands Water Sports North Wall Quay Pontoons, Dublin 1 Dublin City Council Dublin
DLRCC Killiney Beach Facilities Project Killiney Beach, Killiney, Co Dublin Dun Laoghaire Rathdown Dublin
Claycastle Sports Activity Facility Claycastle, Youghal, County Cork Cork County Council Ireland’s Ancient East
Kilkenny Water Sports Hub County Hall, John St, Kilkenny Kilkenny County Council Ireland’s Ancient East
Tramore Water-Sports Activity Facility Centre Promenade, Tramore, Co Waterford Waterford County Council Ireland’s Ancient East
Ardmore Water-Sports Activity Facility Centre Public Car Park, Cois Tra, Ardmore, Co Waterford Waterford County Council  Ireland’s Ancient East
Curracloe Water Sports Activity Centre Whitegap,

Curracloe, County Wexford

Wexford County Council Ireland’s Ancient East
Ballycuggeran Sports Activity Facility Ogonnelloe, Killaloe, County Clare. Clare County Council Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands
Acres Lake Activity Facility Acres Lake, Drumshambo, Co Leitrim Leitrim County Council Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands
Dromineer Sports Activity Facility Dromineer, Nenagh, Co Tipperary Tipperary County Council Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands
Kilkee Waterworld Activity Facilities Waterworld, East End, Kilkee, Co. Clare Clare County Council Wild Atlantic Way
Garrylucas GarryLucas Beach,

Ballinspittle, Co Cork

Cork County Council Wild Atlantic Way
Tullan Strand Centre for Water Sports Activities Bundoran Drumacrin, Tullan

Strand, Bundoran, Co Donegal

Donegal County Council Wild Atlantic Way
Downings Water Sports Activity Facility Cnoc Na Muirleog, Na Muirleog, Na Dunaibh, Co Donegal Donegal County Council Wild Atlantic Way
Corrib Sports & Adventure Dyke Road, Terryland,  Galway Galway City Council Wild Atlantic Way
Ballybunion Beach Shared Facilities Centre Men’s (South) Beach, Ballybunion, Co Kerry Kerry County Council Wild Atlantic Way
Fenit Beach Shared Facility Centre Fenit Beach, Fenit, Co. Kerry Kerry County Council Wild Atlantic Way
Magherabeg Shared Facilities Centre Magherabeg Lower, Castlegregory, Co Kerry Kerry County Council Wild Atlantic Way
Keel Facility Centre for Water Sports Activities Keel Sandybanks, Achill Island, Co. Mayo Mayo County Council Wild Atlantic Way
Carrowmore Water Sports Facility Centre Carrowmore Beach, Louisburgh, Co Mayo Mayo County Council Wild Atlantic Way
Enniscrone TheBeach,  Mackduff,

Enniscrone , Co Sligo

Sligo County Council Wild Atlantic Way
Rosses Point PFG Rosses Point, County Sligo Sligo County Council Wild Atlantic Way

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