A LOCAL tourist attraction is to get a new visitor discovery experience centre and stunning viewing platform as part of a £5.5 million investment aimed at attracting even more visitors to the centre.
It was announced last week that Failte Ireland had awarded the Shannon Pot, along with the Cavan Burren Park in Blacklion, a cool €4.8 million while Cavan County Council is providing a further €1.6 million to the project. The project had been selected from hundreds of applications from across Ireland as one of only four in the country to receive under the ‘Platforms for Growth’ programme.
Both attractions are part of Marble Arch Geopark, and with the phenomenal success of the nearby Cuilcagh Mountain boardwalk, it is hoped the new facilities on the Cavan side of the geopark will further boost visitor numbers to the area.
Cllr John Paul Feely, who was there when Tourism Minister Catherine Martin announced the funding at a special event at the Cavan Burren Park on Thursday, said the project would “transform tourism in west Cavan” and “create a visitor attraction on a national scale.”
“A flagship visitor attraction at the Shannon Pot will bring together many parts of the tourism product in the area,” said Cllr Feely.
“The story of the Shannon, from the geology of water disappearing high on Cuilcagh to reappear at the Pot, the unspoilt landscape of the Shannon, the mythology, and the impact of the majestic river on the history and commerce of Ireland from the Pot, through the first village of Dowra and onwards to Limerick, will be told at the source.
“As a local resident and public representative who has grown up visiting these two sites this announcement is especially good news. I have a particular affinity for the Shannon Pot given that the now old house nearby was my parents first home and was the home of my mother’s family from at least the early 1800s.
“This level of funding, to tell the story of the River Shannon from its source in the slopes of Cuilcagh to the Atlantic through the provision of a large-scale visitor centre together with improved access, several walks around the Shannon Pot will create a fantastic visitor experience that can put this part of County Cavan and the region ‘on the map’ from a tourism perspective.”
Cllr Feely said previous investment at the Burren Park had already established it as a “substantial visitor attraction” and said this would now “take it Cavan Burren to a new level.”
Paying tribute to “the previous generation” who had worked tirelessly in the 1980s to develop the area as they, Cllr Feely also commended the work of volunteers in Killinagh Community Council, the old West Cavan Community Council, and now the ongoing work of Cavan County Council.
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