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Council deny East Clare tourism product has been neglected

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*Market House, Scariff. Photograph: Martin Connolly

Clare County Council has defended its efforts in trying to carve out a balanced spread of tourism across the county.

Recently The Clare Echo reported that East Clare experienced its quietest summer in two decades with local hospitality providers including Teresa Browne of Clareville House claiming Brexit and ‘neglect’ from Clare County Council in failing to develop a main tourist attraction in their area was influential to the decline of visitors.

Prior to going to print, Clare County Council were contacted for comment, in the hours after publication a spokesperson for the local authority referred to the current tourism strategy for which Team Tourism are responsible for putting together on the Council’s behalf. “All four Municipal Districts will feature strongly including East Clare. This will chart the way forward for tourism. Clare County Council has established a Tourism Unit and appointed professional staff to support the implementation of this Strategy”.

“Clare has attracted major capital funding for tourism projects in Clare including Holy Island, Vandeleur Walled Garden and Loop Head Lighthouse. Holy Island is at the technical feasibility stage. This is required due to the Heritage and Environmental issues,” the spokesperson added.

Responding to a motion from Cllr Cathal Crowe at the July meeting of the local authority, Director of Service, Leonard Cleary said the tourism strategy “will set out a clear strategic direction for tourism growth. The main objective is to highlight actionable recommendations which will guide and stimulate investment and development. This in return can maximise the potential of tourism to deliver net economic benefit for the communities within which it takes place without negatively impacting the natural, social, cultural and environmental assets which provide the cornerstone of the tourism product here in Clare”.

Newmarket-on-Fergus native, Páraic McMahon is a freelance journalist and broadcaster currently working for numerous national and local publications including The Clare Echo, The Irish Examiner, The Irish Independent, The Irish Times, RTÉ, TheJournal.ie, The42.ie. A graduate of Mary Immaculate College, Páraic was previously employed by The Clare Herald and Clare FM. If you have a story, tip or some feedback for him then send an email to - paraic@clareecho.ie

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