ONE of West Cork’s best known and most iconic tourist attractions is to close for the summer and until next November, following a 'structural review'.
The cable car was discussed at a meeting of the West Cork municipal district of Cork County Council this morning, and part of it was held ‘in camera’ – behind closed doors – excluding the press.
This afternoon Cork County Council issued a statement saying a recent structural review of the infrastructure of the cable car highlighted ‘some essential works that must be carried out in the short term’.
It said that these works are deemed essential for the cable car to continue in service and that they relate to the towers which suffered during recent adverse weather events, including Storm Barra in December.
It added: ‘Cork County Council has been informed that considering their age, condition and likely future exposure to strong winds, these towers must now be reinforced or replaced. Regrettably, it will not be possible for the cable car to continue in service while these structural works are carried out. As a result, it will be necessary to pause the cable car service from April 1st 2022 in order to facilitate the essential works.’
It said the service was ‘expected’ to resume in November following completion of the works and the renewal of consents from the Commission for Railways Regulation to operate the cable car.
‘This information is being communicated to residents and land users on Dursey Island and Cork County Council is committed to keeping both residents and visitors updated on the progress of these essential works,’ it added.
The news comes just months fter a new cable car and visitor centre to serve the island were given the green light by An Bord Pleanála.
In granting permission for the Cork County Council project, the board overruled the recommendation of its own inspector to refuse planning permission on the grounds it would bring excessive visitors to the area, and would be an unsustainable form of tourism.
The Council scheme includes a mainland visitor centre that will include an interpretative centre, an 84-seater cafe and a 100-space car park at Ballaghboy on the Beara peninsula.
The new cable way is to be 375 metres in length and the existing cable car and accompanying infrastructure is to be decommissioned.