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Consideration is to be given for water based tourism along Shannon Estuary in the soon to be published Clare Tourism Strategy.

A draft of the countywide strategy will be available for public consultation during the first week of February with a finalised version expected during the spring of 2020.

Acting Head of Tourism with Clare County Council, Deirdre O’Shea stated, “This Strategy will identify a comprehensive assessment of the current situation in Clare providing the context for its strategic direction to include capitalizing on the existing strengths of Clare such as the Estuarine Waterways and trails as well as the Coastal and Inland water-way islands. The action plan associated with the 10 year strategy will be implemented and used to measure performance of products and collateral delivered for Clare. In this regard, consideration will be given to the development of water based tourism for the Shannon Estuary and surrounds”.

Her comments came in response to a motion from Cllr Ian Lynch (IND). He requested a feasibility study “to ascertain the economic impacts and benefits of developing a water based tourism strategy for the Shannon Estuary to include development of existing natural amenities, inclusion in the “Blueway”, sailing and cruising Trail ways, enhanced recreational facilities and cruise ship tourism for West Clare.”

Of the Council response, Cllr Lynch labelled it as “a bit vague”. He added, “The Estuary is completely under utilised. I don’t think the tourism strategy will cover it because the infrastructure is there. There is a lot of discussion about Moneypoint. People are asking why we haven’t asked cruise ships there”.

Currently working alongside the trustees of Giant’s Causeway, Cllr Cillian Murphy (FF) was asked by Cllr Lynch for his views on bringing the cruise-ship industry to Clare. “The single biggest issue up in the Giant’s Causeway is the cruise industry coming in and people going off in buses, they are like Browne’s cows a clattar all moving at the same rate going to the same places at the same time, there is a log jam and low spend. I would avoid the cruise ship tourism”.

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