A WEST Cork councillor has thanked Fáilte Ireland for paying the annual subvention towards the cost of running Skibbereen’s tourist office.
Cllr Paul Hayes (SF) said local people had expressed concern because there was a delay with the payment, which is used to offset the running costs of the office.
At a recent Council meeting, the West Cork Municipal District officer Justin England explained that Fáilte Ireland had not yet paid the subvention because the Council, as the owner of the Town Hall building, had not yet signed the lease on the tourist office.
However, Mr England told the Council members that the local authority had sent ‘a letter of comfort’ to Fáilte Ireland saying it was their intention to sign the lease as soon as it was ready. On Monday, a spokesperson for Fáilte Ireland confirmed the lease has been signed and the subvention payment is being processed. And she stated: ‘Fáilte Ireland continues to support Skibbereen Tourist Office.’
Cllr Hayes told The Southern Star: ‘Everyone recognises the importance of running a tourist office because up to 7,000 people use it each year to get information about what is happening in the locality. This tourist office is a great hub for West Cork and great credit is due to Cian O’Mahony, the office manager, and all of the volunteers who give of their time and effort, as well as the Skibbereen and District Chamber of Commerce who generously subsidise the facility as well.’
Sandie Gallagher, chairperson of Skibbereen and District Chamber of Commerce, said: ‘We are delighted to be working with Failte Ireland and Cork County Council to keep Skibbereen Tourist Office open.
‘The subvention we will be receiving from Failte Ireland goes a long way to help with running costs and wages. The Chamber is more than happy to subsidise this amount in order to retain this vital service for the community of Skibbereen and its districts.’