‘When East Does Not Meet West’
Section Of South Cork Coastline Not Included In Ireland’s Ancient East
Or Wild Atlantic Way Touring Routes
Writes Leo McMahon
The Wild Atlantic Way (WAW) starts or finishes just outside Kinsale and Ireland’s Ancient East at Fort Camden, Crosshaven but in between are around 12 miles of beautiful coastline including Roberts Cove and Oysterhaven, which are not being promoted in any way.
Highlighting this at a recent meeting of Cork County Council’s Bandon-Kinsale Municipal District (MD), Tracton based Cllr Alan Lombard (FG) said it was imperative that its promotion was done initially by the MD to ensure connectivity between for example visitor attractions which are in different touring routes but also with a view to eventually having the section included in one of the major tourist routes.
If a tourist visited Ford Camden, Crosshaven, he or she shouldn’t necessarily be directed east nor should someone who visited Charles Fort, Kinsale be told to head west, hence the need to achieve connectivity in the South Cork coastal area with signage and literature etc.
Cllr. Lombard has already made a submission on the issue for inclusion in the new County Development Plan which reads: ‘The fact that Camden Fort is included in Ireland’s Ancient East, which goes north to the Northern Ireland border and the fact that Kinsale is the start of the WAW, is a huge boost to our district. However, both of these hugely successful tourist attractions are divided by 12 miles of coastline and I believe it would be a missed opportunity for us not to connect the two routes.
This stretch of coastline is the only section in the Republic of Ireland that is not encompassed within these tourist routes. This area plan is our chance to seize this enormous opportunity for our MD and to propose a route that connects both.
‘We have a list of attractions within this coastline including ship wrecks, coastal walks, hidden beaches and bays, coastal walks, golf, horse riding, water sport centres, art galleries and numerous award winning restaurants to name a few. I think it’s imperative that we put a proposed route into our development plan.’ Cllr. Lombard added.
Members agreed to refer the matter to the council’s tourism strategic policy committee of which Cllr. Coleman is chairperson.
Cllr Alan Coleman (Ind) asked that enquiries be made about cutting back the overgrowth on the R600 at Kilcawha, Kinsale and turning the former road into a lay-by where interestingly, the WAW start/finish sign is erected because there was a magnificent panoramic view of Belgooly estuary to be enjoyed.
Another boost for tourism in the MD, said Cllr Kevin Murphy (FG) was twinnings, but funding for this was paltry. There was need to assist committees to re-activate twinnings.
Kinsale, Bandon, Ballinhassig, Crosshaven and Carrigaline are twinned with one or more centres but not all are currently active.
Attention to the surface approaching Frank Hurley and Dan Desmond Bridges on the Kinsale-Belgooly road was also requested by Cllr. Coleman while Cllr. Murphy said there were potholes at the parking area near Charles Fort.
Cllr. Lombard also enquired about his previous call for a newsletter from the MD to showcase all its visitor attractions and give it a better identity with the public.
In reply, senior executive officer MacDara oHici said relevant community groups in the MD were invited to list their attractions but there was a poor response. However, a photographic competition for the schools in the MD might be considered because there was a lot to offer. Cllr. Lombard said it was a great idea and should be pursued.
Cllr. Murphy called for replacement Battle of Kinsale signs adding that a plethora of existing ones were missing or stolen. He was informed there was a proposal to upgrade these plus an inter-active display at Kinsale Regional Museum.