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New website showcases all that Cape Clear has to offer

Wednesday, 5th September, 2012 4:39pm
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New website showcases all that Cape Clear has to offer

Maureen O’Sullivan TD launched the new website for Cape Clear Island on Sunday evening. (Photo: Máirtín Ó Méalóid)

By Jackie Keogh

A modern bilingual website for Cape Clear Island was launched with much celebration recently.

The Independent TD, Maureen O’Sullivan, and Comharchumann Chléire Teoranta officiated at the Oileán Chléire launch in Club Chléire at the island's scenic North Harbour.

The bilingual site has been designed and built by Julian Lucioli and Fiachra Ó Tóirne, both island residents, with financial assistance provided by Leader through Comhar na nOileán.

One of the special features of the site – which is certain to prove a valuable tool in providing regular, up-to-date information to tourists and islanders alike – is the ability to switch from the Irish version to English and vice versa without having to go through the homepage.

The new website – www.capeclearisland.ie – is highly interactive and more user friendly than the previous island website, which, it has to be said, was one of the first functioning island websites and for which great credit goes to John Sawyer who designed and oversaw it over many years.

When they were designing the new website, Julian and Fiachra combined first-class design with robust bespoke back-end web development. Eileen Weadick was also a tremendous asset in terms of collecting information from island-based service providers.

The website is, as all websites are, a work in progress so Eileen said she would welcome any input and information pertaining to the island, especially details that will help to keep things like times and dates up-to-date.

Like most places in West Cork, Cape Clear Island has been affected by the current recession and visitor numbers have fallen this summer. Whilst major projects involving large investments are not likely to take place in the present climate, Máirtín Ó Méalóid, who is the general manager of Comharchumann Chléire, said: ‘The development of a new website is an indication of the island’s strong can-do approach.

‘By focusing on smaller cost effective projects that make the island more attractive for visitors and locals alike, it continues to grow and develop and attract people to its shores.’

Other recent projects include the ongoing development of and improvements of the island's marked trails; the interactive Fastnet Display in the Heritage Centre; much-improved promotional material including a dedicated brochure; and the revamp of the island tourist office and craft shop to include a complete new sales room.

The island is, of course, very fortunate to have such a large pool of dedicated, efficient and committed volunteers and this is no more evident that at the present moment.

The fifth annual Family Fun Day, spearheaded by Niamh Ní Drisceoil, was a good indication of the island’s robust community spirit, and in a few weeks the island will be hosting another Cape Clear International Storytelling Festival.

The storytelling festival was founded by the renowned Chuck Kruger, who has just launched another new book, Whiff of Whales, a collection of short stories, published by Bradshaw Books, and based on the island.

This latest offering adds to the already very impressive collection of books inspired by or related to the island, most of which are available in the island craft shop.

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