River Cruises To And From Kinsale Worth Promoting Says Councillor
Writes Leo McMahon
The Bandon River between Kinsale Harbour and Innishannon would be ideal for cruises and could attract lots of new visitors says Cllr Kevin Murphy (FG).
He made the comment as members of Cork County Council’s Kinsale-Bandon Municipal District considered an update from director of services Sharon Corcoran on activities of the tourism section in County Hall.
Cllr Murphy suggested something similar be considered for the Bandon River to that of the Blue Way between Skibbereen and Baltimore.
Ms Corcoran reported that Carrigaline-Crosshaven was one of seven walking trails the section was working on with the aim of making Cork an even more attractive destination for walking with better access and facilities and also boosting the local economy.
Other county-wide initiatives included a draft policy for motor home facilities and guidelines for the licencing of street furniture (tables, chairs and advertising structures on pavements etc). There was also ‘Visit Cork’, a city and county strategy with emphasis on social media promotion and an app.
Among ten council owned tourism attractions featured in the report were Spike Island which attracted 31,000 visitors last year, Camden Fort Meagher, Crosshaven which had 17,500 weekend visitors and the voluntarily run Kinsale Museum which had 7,500 visitors. A Master plan has been proposed to further develop Camden.
The report stated that the council worked closely with Failte Ireland and others in promoting the Wild Atlantic Way and Ireland’s Ancient East with a panel for the latter erected at Camden. Permission was granted recently for a 4.6km section of greenway mainly along the former railway line between Glenbrook and Raffeen with a plan to continue this to Carrigaline resulting eventually it was hoped in a continuous walk and cycleway from Cork to Crosshaven.
A submission had been made to Failte Ireland for inclusion in its €65m 2016-2022 Investment Strategy for a Wild Atlantic Way Plaza at Short Quay Kinsale incorporating the Battle of Kinsale and Lusitania, upgrading of Main Street, Kinsale and phase two of Spike Island.
A new initiative by the tourism section in the council was an allocation of €12,500 towards marketing the Cork Harbour islands. The council also contributed through its economic development fund for the marketing of Cork Airport and produced six free historic town maps including Kinsale which have proved very popular.
Members welcomed the report. Cllr Murphy urged every effort be made to improve traffic flow and free up the Glen area of Kinsale, upgrading Main Street and Market Street, address the future of the car park off Pier Road Bus Eireann and tour bus parking. In agreement, Cllr Gillian Coughlan (FF) said traffic issues in the Glen and other parts of Kinsale needed attention and businesses needed to be engaged on this. Cllr Murphy suggested local engineer Brendan Fehily seek a meeting with the Chamber of Tourism on this. The latter agreed but pointed out he was never approached about these matters nor was his office made aware of the street furniture and some other policy proposals.
Cllr Coughlan said more could be done to promote heritage tourism in Bandon-Kinsale MD including signage and walks. Cllr Alan Coleman (Ind), who is chairman of the council’s tourism strategic policy committee, said there was great potential to market Rebel Cork and the centenary of the War of Independence, 1918-1921 as this could result in opportunities for many place that had up to now been in the shadow of tourism.
Later in the meeting, Cllr Coughlan and others criticised those who left litter on Garrettstown and other South Cork beaches during the heat wave in late June and asked if a temporary beach warden scheme could operate when beaches are much used.
Senior executive engineer Charlie McCarthy said that despite limited resources the council did respond to clean ups of beaches during periods of fine weather. Mr Fehily said council employee Michael Cahalane did fantastic work on this in Garrettstown but said there continued to be a problem of people leaving rubbish next to bins which were blown by the wind and torn open by birds. All were agreed the public should take litter home and that more funding should be designated for upkeep of Blue Flag and other beaches, including toilets and provision of showers etc.
Cllr Coughlan also called on the council to expedite the implementation of guidelines governing solar farms.