Spectacular new Viewing Platform opened at the Blasket Centre on the Wild Atlantic Way
Added July 28th, 2020
Today, Patrick O’Donovan T.D., Minister of State with responsibility for the Office of Public Works (OPW) officially opened the spectacular Wild Atlantic Way Viewing point at the clifftop site of the OPW run Ionad an Bhlascaoid (Blasket Centre) in Dún Chaoin in the West Kerry Gaeltacht. This new and exciting addition to the tourism infrastructure of the Dingle Peninsula, designed by Paul Arnold Architects was built by the Office of Public Works under a strategic partnership with Fáilte Ireland.
The Viewing platform is part of a major programme of investment of €2,610,794 in the Blaskets by the strategic partnership of Fáilte Ireland, the OPW and the Department of Media, Tourism, Arts, Culture, Sport and the Gaeltacht. The overall project includes the restoration of the original house on the Great Blasket Island of the renowned Island writer Tomás Ó Criomhthain, the development of a walkway and viewing platform at the clifftop site and a major upgrade of the exhibition at Ionad an Bhlascaoid. Fáilte Ireland’s investment in the Blaskets comes under the Government’s Project Ireland 2040 strategy with the aim of driving sustainable growth in the Irish tourism sector and higher revenue and job creation around Ireland.
Opening the striking new Viewing Point overlooking the Blasket Sound, Minister O’Donovan said “The development of this viewing platform will complement the existing Ionad an Bhlascaoid which is an important national heritage facility which focuses on the unique literary heritage of the Great Blasket. It also creates a focal point for visitors to the Dingle Peninsula along the Wild Atlantic Way to stop, slow down and safely experience the breath-taking views of the Blasket Islands and the rugged beauty of this idyllic part of West Kerry. The walkway and viewing point are accessible to people of all ages and abilities and makes extraordinary places such as this within reach – free of charge – to citizens and visitors.”
Minister O’Donovan said “The Viewing Point is the first phase of a major re-development of the Blasket Centre, which was originally built in 1993 in conjunction with locally based Fondúireacht an Bhlascaoid. We are at an advanced stage on a major upgrade of the exhibitions at Ionad an Bhlascaoid which is due to commence in October, and will be opened in 2021. This represents a serious commitment by the OPW to the heritage and culture of An Blascaod Mór which, will strengthen its role in this Gaeltacht area and showcase the cultural heritage of these islands and its inhabitants for visitors both from home and abroad.
Minister O’Donovan concluded “Covid -19 has seriously affected the Tourism sector in the last few months and my colleagues in Government have identified the need to act quickly in stimulating the economy, especially around home tourism. I have recently launched the Free Admission initiative at OPW Heritage Sites, of which the Visitor Centre is one, to offer all visitors access to the many historic buildings and sites in Ireland. I would encourage everyone to go out and explore and enjoy what Ireland has to offer, from our rich heritage to our breath-taking scenery that is only a stone’s throw away. We all need to play our part in getting Ireland back on its feet again.”