A LARGE scale capital investment plan for the Dursey Island Cable Car service will see it become one of the signature destinations along the world famous Wild Atlantic Way.
At a recent meeting of Cork County Council, Sharon Corcoran, director of services said that phase one of the plan was underway.
She confirmed that Fáilte Ireland have agreed to provide €200,000 towards proposed costs of €427,750 for the design and planning stage that could would include tenders for the design of new cable cars, a visitor centre on the mainland, as well as possibly facilities on the island including toilets and a sheltered area for visitors.
‘We’ve got to stage one and we are working very closely with them on making it a worldwide attraction.
‘It’s going to be a signature destination on the Wild Atlantic Way for years to come. I wasn’t aware that it’s the only cable car service in Europe that goes over water,’ she said.
Cllr Patrick Gerard Murphy (FF) said that the Dursey Island Cable Car warranted serious investment due to the high numbers of tourists visiting that area.
‘It is one of the iconic sights along the WAW route and we need to push Fáilte Ireland to ensure they continue their support for this signature point,’ said Cllr Murphy.
‘Three new staff have been recruited and a panel has also been formed with the intention to extend opening hours. I am also advocating the development of an online booking system to give tourists who want to visit Dursey Island a certainty that they can get out on the cable car when they turn up.’
Cllr Joe Carroll (FF) described the Dursey Island Cable Car as ‘one of the gems of West Cork’ and said the service should be improved, while Cllr Paul Hayes (SF) said he felt that Fáilte Ireland has been dragging their feet a bit in relation to the cable car service.
Figures related to general tourism numbers to date for 2017 showed that 8,416 have used the Dursey Island Cable Car service so far this year, while last year’s figure was 13,780.
Other West Cork attractions include Skibbereen Heritage Centre with 11,980 visitors and Michael Collins House in Clonakilty with 7,603 visitors.
Camden Fort Meagher in Crosshaven saw 12,088 people through its doors so far this year.
At the meeting councillors were told that it is also undergoing changes, as a masterplan is expected to be completed by the end of the year following the appointment of a consultant.
Sharon Corcoran also confirmed that a West Cork Visitor Experience Development Plan for the Three Heads – Sheep’s Head, Mizen and Beara – will commence shortly.