Fáilte Ireland today unveiled 11 new viewing points along the Shannon Estuary Way, the first of a series of Wild Atlantic Way looped drives created to encourage visitors to explore other parts of the region and stay longer, driving economic growth in local communities.
The Shannon Estuary Way, developed with an investment of €225,000 from Fáilte Ireland, takes visitors on a drive through an area of remarkable unspoilt beauty, across the Shannon Estuary on Shannon Ferries, encouraging them to explore the many delightful towns, villages and world famous shore fishing sites within the area.
The new viewing points on the looped drive across Limerick and Clare (Ringmoylan Pier, Ballysteen Pier, Boland’s Meadow, Kilteery Pier, Glin Pier, Knock Pier, Labasheeda Quay, Killadysert Pier, Covraghan Pier, Clarecastle Pier and Tullyglass Point) will compel visitors to stop, enjoy the view and engage with the stories of each local area.
Unveiling the new viewing points, Minister of State at the Department of Finance and the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, Patrick O’Donovan TD, said:
“As Minister of State for Tourism and Sport in 2017, I launched the Shannon Estuary Way with Fáilte Ireland and I’m delighted to see the drive develop over the last year. The Shannon Estuary Way provides a significant opportunity for Limerick and Clare to benefit from the Wild Atlantic Way, opening up the region’s inland hinterland to visitors. Today, we are unveiling 11 new viewing points along the Shannon Estuary Way which will showcase the stories of each area along the drive.”
Developed with stories and imagery from local communities across the region and constructed from locally sourced materials, the concept for the design of the viewing points was big skies and sheltered waters. A motif for the viewing points was created to celebrate the traditional wooden fishing boats unique to the River Shannon, the gandelow.
Speaking about the new viewing points, Minister of State for Tourism and Sport, Brendan Griffin TD, said:
“The Wild Atlantic Way has been a great success and we are continuing to build on this success for the benefit of communities across the region with initiatives such as looped drives off the main Wild Atlantic Way route. The Shannon Estuary has so much to offer from history and heritage to beautiful views and the Shannon Estuary Way looped drive will encourage visitors to get off the beaten track and discover the surrounding area. I’m delighted to see the new viewing points bring the stories of the Shannon Estuary to life.”
Miriam Kennedy, Fáilte Ireland’s Head of the Wild Atlantic Way, said:
“To keep the current growth momentum of the Wild Atlantic Way going, our aim is to spread visitors across the region. The Shannon Estuary Way was designed to encourage visitors to explore the area around the Shannon Estuary, which has an abundance of things to see and do. With the support of Clare and Limerick County Councils, we’re delighted to now unveil 11 new viewing points, which will enhance the visitor experience and increase dwell time in the area, supporting revenue generation and job creation in local communities across the region.”
Fáilte Ireland is working with West Limerick Resources and businesses along the Shannon Estuary Way to maximise the tourism opportunities for Limerick presented by the Shannon Estuary Way.
Mayor of the City and County of Limerick, Cllr James Collins, said:
“The Shannon Estuary Way is an ideal platform to highlight and promote the wonderful attractions of Limerick. The recently adopted Limerick Tourism Development Strategy Action Plan sets out a roadmap for Tourism Development in Limerick and the Shannon Estuary Way fits nicely into this. We look forward to working with tourism trade and several statutory bodies to develop Limerick’s tourist offering and to grow visitor numbers to Limerick allowing them to uncover the hidden gems around the city and county.”
Conn Murray, Chief Executive of Limerick City and County Council, added:
“This is a very important project as we begin to grow the tourism sector in Limerick. I would like to thank Tourism Development at Limerick City and County Council who have worked with West Limerick Resources, the communities along the estuary and Fáilte Ireland in imagining and continuing to develop the Shannon Estuary Way.”