Displaying items by tag: Scattery Island
Six times as many tourists can now experience the hidden gem that is Scattery Island as Scattery Island Tours has secured a new 70 passenger ship for its daily trips to the monastic island.
Following on the success of its first season which saw a significant growth in visitor numbers, the company has invested in a larger ferry, having run a 12 passenger boat last year.
The new catamaran ferry, named "An Breandàn" represents a further investment in tourism in West Clare and reflects the growing interest in Island visits by both domestic and international tourists.
Scattery Island Tours was founded by Irene Hamilton in May 2017. Ms. Hamilton has close ties to the island as her father, Brendan Griffin was born and grew up there.
This emerging new tourist destination saw over 300% growth in visitor numbers last year and following its recent award as Ireland's European Destination of Excellence for 2017, the numbers are expected to continue to grow significantly over the coming years.
"Six times as many tourists can now experience the hidden gem that is Scattery Island"
The island is now ranked at No. 4 on "Trip Advisors Top Things To Do" in Co. Clare, sitting just behind Clare's prestigious Cliff's of Moher and Kilkee cliffs.
Last week, the new ship had its inaugural sailing to the island with representatives from Fàilte Ireland and a group of International Tour Operators.
Commenting on the new vessel, Irene Hamilton said "This new ferry will ensure that we can manage growing visitor numbers over the coming years and continue to position Kilrush and West Clare as a family friendly tourist destination, for both domestic and international tourists, further enhancing the development of the local economy. The vessel was partially funded by the LEADER grant tourism programme and we are very grateful for the support received from LEADER aided by the Clare Local Development Company (CLDC)".
"The new ferry is also designed to facilitate wheelchairs and Kilrush Marina offers full wheelchair access to the vessel for sailing departing from there. The company plan to develop a range of disability cruise options around Scattery island later this season" she added.
Minister of State for Trade, Employment, Business, EU Digital Single Market & Data Protection Pat Breen TD congratulated Scattery Island Tours on its success and paid tribute to the hard work of Ms Hamilton and her team in bringing one of Clare’s hidden tourism gems to international attention.
“Tourism had another record year in 2017 and is worth about €8.9 billion to Ireland – approximately 4% of GNP. I am delighted therefore to see a sustainable tourism business like Scattery Island Tours continue to grow and develop in west Clare. Businesses like this are the back bone of our rural economy. I wish Irene and the team all the very best as they voyage into what I am sure will be another successful tourism season on board the new 70 passenger ship.”
Scattery Island will commence its scheduled service to the island from Sunday April 29th and full details on the summer schedule can be found on their website here
#scatteryisland Brian Ború's 10th century invasion of the monastic settlement of Scattery Island in County Clare and the subsequent killing of the Viking King of Limerick and his two sons will be recreated this weekend.
The Scattery Island Festival, which gets underway tomorrow morning and continues through Sunday, also features guided walks, lectures, music and song, and marine activities celebrating the island's association with St. Senan, the Vikings, Brian Ború, the Spanish Armada and later as a defence outpost for the British.
Uninhabited since 1979, Scattery Island - also known as Inish Cathaigh - is located approximately one mile from Kilrush in the Shannon Estuary and is home to a monastery founded in the early 6th century by St. Senan. The island features the ruins of six churches and one of the highest Round Towers in Ireland at 120 ft. high.
The re-enactment of the raid on the island by Brian Ború and his the Dál Cais army is the main event of the Scattery Island Festival, which is part of the national Brian Boru Programme and coincides with the millennial anniversary of Ború's death at the Battle of Clontarf in 1014.
Academics and historians have for many years argued whether or not Ború broke sanctuary by killing on church land as he sought revenge for the murder by King Ivar of his older brother and King of Munster, Mahon. Most agree however, that the incident consolidated Brian's position as Mahon's successor and helped him in his quest to become High King of Ireland.
Dr. Catherine Swift, Course Director, Irish Studies Mary Immaculate College explained: "The Annals of Inisfallen state that Ímar, king of the foreigners, and his two sons, were killed on Inis Cathaig by Brian, son of Cennétig in 977AD. In an account given in the Annals of Loch Cé meanwhile, Brian sees a vision of St Senán condemning him for breaking sanctuary by killing on church land which is taken to be this incident. Whatever one's opinion is of the manner in which the Norse King was slain, it is clear that his death paved the way for Brian to enjoy unchallenged rule over his home Province of Munster."
Rita McCarthy of the Scattery Island Heritage & Tourism Group said the re-enactment will be the focal point of this year's Festival, the theme of which is 'Invade Scattery'.
Also taking place during the course of the weekend will be a Ceremony of Remembrance for past inhabitants of the island, a Curragh Race, Music and Song with Inis Cathaigh Comhaltas, guided tours of the island by the OPW, talks on Scattery Island's environment and history, a Treasure Hunt for children, and tours to the Napoleonic Battery.
Ms. McCarhy continued: "We are inviting former island inhabitants and anyone with a connection with Scattery or indeed, its rich history to join us this weekend. Last year's inaugural festival, held as part of the Gathering Ireland initiative, proved to be a huge success with more than 5,000 people travelling to the island. This has helped to raise the profile of what has for many years been one of Ireland's least known monastic settlements."
The Scattery Island Festival is part-funded under the Community Tourism Diaspora Fund, operated locally by Clare County Council, IPB and Failte Ireland. For more visit www.brianborumillennium.ie, see Facebook (Scattery Island/Kilrush Gathering), or contact Rita McCarthy of the Scattery Island Heritage and Tourism Group on 087-9731162 / [email protected]