Mannion Island in Dunmanus Bay could soon be developed as a global tourism destination – and the public have a chance to buy into it.
A slightly left-of-centre business has been set up to crowdfund to buy one of five islands around the world.
As well as Mannion Island the others up for consideration are in far flung destinations and are: Coffee Island, Belize; Panama Island; Malaipo Island, near the Phillipines; and Nangashanti Resort, Borneo.
The plan is to complete the purchase this year, or as soon as there are sufficient funds raised.
So far, around €90,000 has been raised from 52 investors. The current price to buy a share in the island is US ,250, or €2,928.
The four-acre Mannion Island, with a guide price of €150,000, is currently the favourite among investors, along with Coffee Island.
The winning island will be known as the Principality of Islandia.
The website (letsbuyanisland.com) says: ‘Registered in the Cayman Islands and managed by a global team of tourism and business professionals, we are dedicated to creating a socially responsible, eco-friendly, self-sustaining island property.
‘Our aim is to eventually deliver a return on investment for our shareholders. What we do with the island will depend on its price, size and location.
‘We are working at business models for all of our final short list locations which range from glamping retreats to eco havens.’
After visiting Mannion Island, the group said on their website: ‘Development of permanent structures on the island would have to be discussed with local planning authorities, but the pitching of tents (or even semi-permanent shelters such as yurts) could go ahead immediately.There is a growing trend for meditation/prayer/fasting retreats, and not many suitable locations to meet this demand. (Think Luke Skywalker on that rock, or the Monks of Lindisfarne, that sort of thing).
‘It has never been inhabited, and historically has been used for grazing sheep in the summer months. In springtime, it is famous locally for a stunning display of bluebells.’
Graham Norton even comes in for a mention: ‘This is becoming a very fashionable area, with residents including Graham Norton (one of the UK’s most highly paid TV personalities).