Tuamgraney, County Clare - A Community, Tourism and Cultural Development Study

 
 
Tuamgraney, County Clare - A Community, Tourism and Cultural Development Study
Tuamgraney,
County Clare
A Community, Tourism and
Cultural Development Study
May 2018




 Funded by
Tuamgraney, County Clare - A Community, Tourism and Cultural Development Study
Produced by                                      This feasibility Study was commissioned by Tuamgraney
Alan Hill Tourism Development Ltd                Tourism Working Group and funded by Clare County
in association with                              Council. Its aim was to scope the potential of developing
Richard Rice (Healy Partners Architects)         a sustainable tourism, community and cultural quarter
                                                 in the heart of the village to assist driving Rural
and
                                                 Development in the wider area. The core elements of this
Nevin Associates Ltd.
                                                 Study are the ancient St Cronan’s Church, Tuamgraney
                                                 Castle (c. 1600- built to protect this ecclesiastical legacy
Commissioned by                                  which goes back over 1,000 years), and the nationally
Tuamgraney Tourism Working Group                 significant Tuamgraney Handball Club and Alleys.
                                                 Finally, these assets coexist with a Parish House, which
Designed by                                      presented- within the overall campus. This intriguing
OpticNerve                                       redevelopment scenario if fully realised will add genuine
                                                 value to both locals and visitors alike and position
Funded by                                        Tuamgraney to be a key location in Fáilte Ireland’s new
                                                 destination brand- Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands.
Clare County Council

                                                 On average, once every generation communities in
Acknowledgements
                                                 rural Ireland are presented with an opportunity to
Tuamgraney Tourism Working Group would           fundamentally change their development trajectory;
like to acknowledge the assistance of all        The Tuamgraney community in East County Clare is now
those who inputted into this development of      at this point. This Study has examined the options that
this study. In particular the group would like   lie ahead to reinvigorate the local economy along with
to thank the elected members of the Killaloe     its cultural, social and recreational life. It stands on the
                                                 shoulders of significant community achievements and a
Municipal District for their support and
                                                 recognisable momentum of late.
funding of this study:
Cllr Michael Begley,                             In order to properly investigate and communicate the
Cllr Pat Burke,                                  interconnections between spaces and communities, this
Cllr Joe Cooney,                                 Study adopts a spatial zonal approach, moving from an
Cllr Pat Hayes,                                  inner Zone 1 (the tourism, community and cultural
Cllr Tony O’Brien,                               quarter), Zone 2 (the village) and flowing out to a
                                                 Zone 3 (East Clare). This spotlight is ever present
Cllr Alan O’Callaghan.
                                                 throughout the document. Tuamgraney, in addition,
                                                 cannot be removed from any debate about Holy Island
Further Information
                                                 or Lough Derg. All are inextricably linked by history,
tuamgraneytourism@gmail.com                      narrative and geography.
www.tuamgraney.ie
Tuamgraney, County Clare - A Community, Tourism and Cultural Development Study
East Clare Memorial Park, Tuamgraney
                                                                                                                            1




                                                   Executive Summary
An essential building block of this Study has been the      The scale of initial funding required for Phase 1 is
on-going conversation with the community through            relatively modest (c. €300K); however, the returns are
the autumn of 2017 and spring of 2018. The constant         significant in economic, infrastructural and societal
input of key partners like Clare Council and CLDC           terms. Tuamgraney village has immediate challenging
/ LEADER has given the Study an authenticity along          deficits to overcome, from accommodation to destination
with signposting immediate actions upon completion.         recognition, but there are no obstacles that are beyond
The Study has identified that there is considerable         their capacity to overcome through working together.
potential (and justification) to redevelop Zone 1 in an     Tuamgraney, and in particular Zone 1, has the potential
incremental, imaginative three- Phase fashion as follows:   to become a signature discovery point in the Ireland’s
                                                            Hidden Heartlands Brand to be developed.
  Recommendation 1:
  Conserve and enhance St. Cronan’s Church                  This change will only come about through greater
  for the benefit of its congregation, local                community participation in the process. The timeframe
  community and visitors (Phase 1);                         needs to be viewed as being inter-generational. The
                                                            management challenge ahead is great, requiring new
  Recommendation 2:                                         ways of seeing, communicating and delivering the vision
  Expand and enhance the Parish House as                    set out in this Study. The on-going practical support of
  a community, cultural and visitor hub for                 key external partners will be critical to success.
  Tuamgraney (Phase 1);
                                                            There is strong support evident for the built vision in
                                                            Phase 1. The visual enhancement will be significant, but
  Recommendation 3:                                         more importantly, it provides the community with new
  Explore further the potential of
                                                            spaces to socialise, learn and entertain. The quality of life
  the development of a National Handball
                                                            will be improved for many. Visitors likewise will benefit
  Museum / Experience (Phase 2);
                                                            from an attractive, unique and authentic Irish rural
                                                            village close to the Shannon and with an important
  Recommendation 4:                                         (and entertaining) set of stories to tell and be told by
  Explore the restoration of Tuamgraney                     gifted storytellers.
  Castle to allow access for visitors
  (Phase 3)                                                 This Study demonstrates a confidence that there is a
                                                            sustainable market for this integrated development
                                                            vision and that Tuamgraney has a key role to play in
                                                            the development of the new Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands
                                                            Brand.
Tuamgraney, County Clare - A Community, Tourism and Cultural Development Study
2




    Table of Contents
          1 Introduction                                       3
            1.1   Tuamgraney                                   4
            1.2   Tuamgraney Tourism Working Group             4
            1.3   Key Plans and Strategies                     5
            1.4   Terms of Reference                           7
            1.5   Defining the Study Zones                     7

          2 The Consultation Process and Key Findings         9
            2.1   Introduction                                10
            2.2   Community Survey Feedback                   10
            2.3   Tuamgraney Community Mindmap                11
            2.4   Key Findings                                11

          3 Key Recommendations and Core Strategic Partners   13
            3.1   Zone 1 Recommendations                      14
            3.2   Zone 2 Recommendations                      26
            3.3   Zone 3 Recommendations                      32
            3.4   General Recommendations                     33
            3.5   Core Strategic Partners                     34

          4 Management, Operations & Finance                  35
            4.1   Governance                                  36
            4.2   How Best to Manage Things Going Forward     37
            4.3   Generating a Prudent Financial Model        38
            4.4   Assumptions of the Financial Model          39
            4.5   Revenue Forecasts                           40
            4.6   Conclusion                                  42

          5 Conclusion                                        43

          6 Appendices                                        47
            6.1   Appendix A                                  48
            6.2   Appendix B                                  49
            6.3   Appendix C                                  49
            6.4   Appendix D                                  50
            6.5   Appendix E                                  51
            6.6   Appendix F                                  52
Tuamgraney, County Clare - A Community, Tourism and Cultural Development Study
1
Introduction
Tuamgraney, County Clare - A Community, Tourism and Cultural Development Study
4




                                                                   1.2

    1.1                                                            Tuamgraney Tourism
    Tuamgraney                                                     Working Group

    Tuamgraney is an award-winning village in East Clare           Tuamgraney Tourism Working Group (TTWG) was
    adjacent to the town of Scariff. It lies close to the shores   established in late 2016 to examine the potential of
    of Lough Derg with access to the lake via Reddan’s Quay        and tourism and rural development in Tuamgraney.
    and Scariff Harbour. The village is approximately 30 /         The working group is made up of representatives of the
    40 km from Limerick, Ennis, Shannon and Portumna.              following:
    It enjoys a strategic location on the main route around        • Tuamgraney Development Association
    Lough Derg with the core of the village marked by an           • Bodyke / Tuamgraney Pastoral Council
    attractive Memorial Park at the junction of the R352           • St Cronan’s Church Committee
    (Ennis to Portumna road) and the R463 (Tuamgraney to           • Tuamgraney Community Weekend Committee
    Killaloe road).                                                • Tuamgraney Handball Club
                                                                   • Tourism Business Interests in Tuamgraney
    The history of Tuamgraney dates from the 6th Century
    when a Monastery flourished there – a sister foundation        The group considers that strengthened tourism and
    of Inis Cealtra (Holy Island) on Lough Derg. It is a           cultural development in Tuamgraney has the potential
    well-appointed village and a high performer in the Tidy        to complement the flagship tourism proposals for Holy
    Towns Competition- winning a bronze medal for the past         Island / Inis Cealtra as outlined in the Inis Cealtra
    6 years. It is also an overall winner of “Clare in Bloom”      Sustainable Tourism & Visitor Management Plan. Clare
    on several occasions, including 2017. Tuamgraney is            County Council has funded this Study for Tuamgraney
    a former overall winner in its population category in          through support of the elected members in the Killaloe
    the All Island Pride of Place awards. The community            Municipal District.
    has a strong record of accomplishment in community
    development particularly through Tuamgraney
    Development Association (TDA) founded in 1996 and
    who initiated the formation of Tuamgraney Tourism
    Working Group.

    Tuamgraney and its immediate surroundings boasts a
    range of activities; from equestrian, fishing, sightseeing,
    golf, and offers high quality craft and artisan retailing
    experiences. The village is the birthplace of world-
    renowned author, Edna O’Brien, world champion
    handball player, Pat Kirby, and well-known historian, the
    late Dr. Edward MacLysaght.




    East Clare Memorial Park, Tuamgraney
Tuamgraney, County Clare - A Community, Tourism and Cultural Development Study
Reddan’s Quay, Tuamgraney
                                                                                                                                    5




1.3

Key Plans and Strategies

1.3.1                                                              1.3.2
Clare County Development Plan                                      Lough Derg: Life at the Lake - A Roadmap
2017–2023                                                          for Experience Development and
Scariff / Tuamgraney is identified in the Clare County             Destination Marketing 2014–2017
Development Plan 2017–2023 as a Service Town for the               This document was published in 2014 to guide those
East Clare area. Scariff / Tuamgraney had a population             involved in Experience Development and Selling in the
in 2016 of 770. The Clare County Development Plan                  Lough Derg Area. The vision of the Study is to develop
2017–2023 identifies a focus on tourism for Tuamgraney.            Lough Derg as a key destination for superb water based
                                                                   activities combined with a range of very high quality
“Scarriff and Tuamgraney are recognised as one of the main         walking, cycling, heritage, culture and food experiences
service centres in East Clare. The opportunity exists to allow     that will entice domestic and international visitors to
these complementary settlements to expand to improve the           stay longer.
range of services available to residents of both settlements
and to visitors to the area. This plan proposes that significant   1.3.3
service provision will continue to be directed towards the         Lough Derg Heritage Audit 2011
more established town centre of Scarriff, while Tuamgraney         An audit of the key heritage assets and themes associated
will be encouraged to complement this role with the provision      with Lough Derg was undertaken in 2011. The purpose
of supporting services such as visitor accommodation, in           of the audit was not only to determine the nature,
addition to building on its tourism potential arising from its     characteristics and condition of the heritage assets
monastic heritage and attractive nature.”                          available, but also to understand how the heritage assets
                                                                   could be utilised as visitor assets and built into the visitor
In recognition of the broader potential for tourism in             experience. The Audit was commissioned by Clare, Galway
Tuamgraney, the Clare County Development Plan Zones                and Tipperary County Councils. All the key heritage assets
a site for tourism development centred on St Cronan’s              in Tuamgraney are referenced in the audit including St
10th Century Church and Tuamgraney Castle. It states the           Cronan’s Church, Tuamgraney Castle and handball alleys.
following: “Tuamgraney’s location approximately mid-way
between the tourist centres of Mountshannon and Killaloe           1.3.4
provide it with the opportunity to harness its potential for       Inis Cealtra Visitor Management and
Tourism development. The tourism potential of the village          Sustainable Tourism Development Plan
rests in tapping into its unique heritage. The village is a        This plan, published in July 2017, was commissioned by
former monastic settlement founded by St Cronan. The 10th          Clare County Council with the remit to seek to ensure
century church that bears his name is the oldest church in         the long-term conservation of this significant historical
continuous use in Ireland or Britain. The church has a strong      and cultural site while expanding its attractiveness as a
association with Brian Boru and served as a heritage centre        sustainable tourist destination for an increased number
from 1991 to 2014. In recognition of its potential to develop      of visitors. The plan seeks to set this future vision
as a visitor attraction the site and adjacent lands are Zoned      within a wider context and includes several references
for Tourism (TOU1)”                                                to Tuamgraney given its historical links to Inis Cealtra
                                                                   and the opportunity to orientate and direct visitors from
                                                                   Tuamgraney to Inis Cealtra and vice versa.
Tuamgraney, County Clare - A Community, Tourism and Cultural Development Study
6




    1.3.5
    Clare County Local Economic and
    Community Plan (LECP) 2016–2021
    The purpose of the plan is to promote economic
    development and local and community development
    in the functional area of Clare County Council. The
    recognition in the plan of the potential for synergies
    between community facilities and tourism is particularly
    relevant to Tuamgraney.
                                                                                                   Holy Island/Inis Cealtra

    “Town and Village enhancement, including improved               1.3.8
    maintenance, upgrading and renewal of community facilities      Commission for Economic Development
    and public spaces would not only provide quality of life        of Rural Areas (CEDRA) Report
    opportunities for residents but would also provide attractive   This report was published in 2014 and
    settings for visitors. Such enhancement would help those        recommended a series of actions by government
    towns and villages to achieve their potential to act as         departments to support the long-term sustainable
    catalysts for and / or partners in the regeneration of their    development of rural Ireland. It also introduced the
    more rural hinterland.” (Page 27)                               concept of Rural Economic Development Zones (REDZs).
                                                                    Scariff & district was one of the REDZ identified in
    1.3.6                                                           County Clare. A concrete outcome is the significant
    Clare Rural Development Strategy 2026                           funding that has been provided for the marketing,
    This is the first rural development strategy for County         development and promotion of the Lough Derg Blueway
    Clare and is very relevant to the broad aims of this            which includes the Lough Derg Canoe Trail.
    Study to drive rural development in Tuamgraney and
    surrounding area. The strategy identifies Scariff /             1.3.9
    Tuamgraney / Mountshannon as combined towns acting              Blueways Ireland
    as a hub for surrounding parishes.                              The Blueways are a network of multi-activity recreational
                                                                    trails being developed by Waterways Ireland and its
    1.3.7                                                           partners. The new national product offering has a
    LEADER Local Development Strategy (LDS)                         particular focus on the 180km of canoe trails with
    This was developed by Clare Local Development                   currently 21 individual journeys. It represents a new
    Company (CLDC) to achieve a number of objectives in             thrust towards “slow tourism” attempting to be captured
    the areas of: Enterprise Development and Tourism; Rural         by Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands. For Tuamgraney
    Towns, Community Facilities and Broadband; Hard-to-             the overall tourism experience linking food, culture,
    Reach Communities and Young People; Water Protection,           heritage and activity is an attractive proposition and one
    Biodiversity and Renewable Energy. Through an on-going          the community is well positioned to capitalise upon.
    conversation with CLDC it has been established that             Continued engagement with Waterways Ireland will pay
    there are considerable opportunities for support.               handsome dividends into the future for Tuamgraney.
Tuamgraney, County Clare - A Community, Tourism and Cultural Development Study
7




1.4                                                          1.5

Terms of Reference                                           Defining the Study Zones

Alan Hill Tourism Development Ltd and Associates were        Three spatially distinct Zones were defined for the Study.
appointed by Tuamgraney Tourism Working Group to             These zones are outlined and mapped on the next page.
carry out a feasibility Study, in consultation with key
stakeholders, for the sustainable development of tourism
in Tuamgraney. The Terms of Reference evolved as the
project proceeded and in light of findings. The objectives
of the Tuamgraney Community, Tourism and Cultural
Development Study were;

                                                                   TOU1, Tourism Zoned Site, Tuamgraney
  1: To provide proposals for the
                                                             a.    St. Cronan’s Church
  future sustainable management and                          b.    Tuamgraney Castle
  protection of the site TOU1 (see aerial                    c.    Parish House
  photograph) including how they inform                      d.    Tuamgraney Handball Club
                                                             e.    Additional Tourism Zoned Lands
  visitor management;


  2: To provide proposals on the
  provision of community, cultural and
  tourism development on site TOU1
                                                                                   e
  and the village of Tuamgraney in order
  to assist in driving rural development
  in the wider East Clare area.

                                                                                         d



                                                                                                    b
                                                                                                                          c
                                                         a
Tuamgraney, County Clare - A Community, Tourism and Cultural Development Study
8                        ZONE 1:
                               The land Zoned Tourism (TOU1) in
                                                                                                                   Parish
                               Tuamgraney, including St Cronan’s                                                  House &
                               Church & Graveyard, the Handball                                                   Gardens
                               Club & Alleys, Tuamgraney Castle,                                                             Tuamgraney
                                                                                                                               Castle
                               the Parish House and Garden
                               (front and back) and lands to the
                                                                                                       Tuamgraney
                               rear of the Parish House.                                                 Handball
                                                                                                       Club & Alleys

                                                                                                                                 St. Cronan’s
                                                                                                                                Church, 964AD

                                                                                                                              Graveyard




                                                               Edna                                                                         Reddan’s Quay
                                                            O’Brien                                                                                           Scariff
                                                             Plaque              Dr. Tommy Daly
                                                                                 Plaque                                                                                     Lough
                                                                                                                                                                         River Sha

                                                   Woollen Mill
                                                    and Shop                          Tuamgraney                               Lime Kiln




                                                                                                                                       er
                             East Clare
                                                         East Clare
                                                                                                                                    Riv
                             Equestrian
                               Centre                    Memorial
                                                                                                                                  um
                                                           Park
                                                                                                                               hr



               Handmade
                                                                                                                              oag




               Chocolate
                                                                                                                             Cr




                Factory
               and Shop                    St. Joseph’s                                      ZONE 1
                                           RC Church                                                                                        ZONE 2:
                       Bodyke GAA Grounds 400m
                        Famine Memorial Park 540m                                                                                           Everything outside Zone 1
                         St. Coelan’s Well 1km                                                                                              and within the controlled
                                   R352                                                                                                     speed limits of Tuamgraney
                                    Bodyke 4km                                                                                              village.
                                     Tulla 16km
                                      Ennis 33km
                                       Limerick 35km
ke GAA Grounds 400m
ne Memorial Park 540m
oelan’s Well 1km
 2
yke 4km                                                                                                                         Tuamgraney
a 16km                                                                                                                          Community
is 33km                                                                                                                          Woodland
erick 35km                                                       Slieve Aughty
                                                                                      Whitegate
                                    Crusheen                                      Mountshannon                                     R463
                             M18                                  Feakle
                                                                           Scarriff                      g                Killaloe 15km
                                                                                                  h D er                 Limerick 45km
                        Barefield                                                             Loug
                                                                        Tuamgraney
                                                    Tulla
                                                                                                         Nenagh
                       ENNIS
                                       Quin          Kilkishen                              Killaloe                   ZONE 3:
                                   Newmarket
                                                                   Broadford
                                                                                                                       The broader East Clare area covers
                                   on Fergus
                                                                                                                       roughly 640sq km, with the town of Ennis
                                                  Sixmilebridge            O’Briensbridge          M7
                                                                                                                       to the west, Limerick to the south, the
  SHANNON                            Shannon                                                                           Slieve Aughty Mountains to the north,
                                              Bunratty
INTERNATIONAL                                                          Parteen                                         and nearby Lough Derg, forming its
   AIRPORT
                    tuary                                              LIMERICK                                        Eastern boundary of the outer Zone.
           n o n Es
    Sh a n       N19   N18                                             CITY
                                                                 M20
                                                                                     N24
2
The Consultation
Process and
Key Findings
10




                                                                                                            Wilde Irish
                                                                                                           Chocolates,
                                                                                                         Tuamgraney




     2.1                                                         2.2

     Introduction                                                Community Survey Feedback

     The role and importance of a thorough and continuous        A key part of the consultation Phase of this Study was
     consultation process- informing research and findings       the feedback received through a Community Survey.
     was not undervalued. It was appreciated by the              It is clear from the analysis that there is a need for
     community that future success would likely depend           greater community participation in the delivery of
     on foundations being laid and relationships built           the development agenda going forward. As with the
     (both internally and externally) in these early stages      majority of similar communities it is the small number
     rotating around a shared vision. A set of consultees        of committed volunteers upon whose back the bulk of
     (in discussions with TTWG) were identified across the       the work rests. This status quo is no longer an option
     public, private, community, agency and special interest     for Tuamgraney. The Survey (10 questions) addressed
     groups that needed to feed into the Study. In summary,      the following: - issues facing the village, priority actions,
     the consultation process involved one to one interviews,    obstacles, creating a tourism economy, and village
     telephone interviews, Zone 1 landowners interviews,         enhancement.
     Focus Group sessions with agency partners and with
     relevant local organisations. There were formal Council
     sessions with Elected Members and separately Council
     Officers (x 4 sessions in total). Importantly there
                                                                 Heritage in Tuamgraney
                                                                 Are you aware of Tuamgraney’s rich ecclesiastical and
     were well attended Public Sessions (X 2) in the Parish      historical heritage?
     House and the Secondary School. In total, an excess of
     120 people participated in the consultation process; a
     representative level of participation and feedback. In
                                                                 81% Yes
     order to secure a wider level of considered feedback from
     the Tuamgraney community a Community Survey was
     distributed and the results fed into the process.

                                                                 4% No

                                                                 15% Some Awareness

                                                                 Could Tuamgraney’s existing heritage play a more
                                                                 important part in the community, cultural, educational
                                                                 and business life of the village?

                                                                 70% Yes


                                                                 4% No




                                                                 26% Not Sure
11




 2.3

 Tuamgraney Community                                                                2.4

 Mindmap                                                                             Key Findings

 The Tuamgraney Mindmap captured information that                                    During such a Study, discoveries usually come from
 was locally relevant to the village, i.e. Zone 2. The                               one of three sources- namely: what people, partners
 exercise was a culmination of preliminary desktop                                   and ‘friends’ of the project tell you during the talking
 research and direct feedback and input that was received                            phase; what one’s own professional objectivity, informed
 during an open public session. It is useful both in terms                           by experience, tells you; and finally what is revealed by
 of baseline information for future monitoring and                                   looking at best in class examples of similar ventures
 evaluation of the village’s progress and development. It                            elsewhere. In table format on the following page are the
 also captures a wide variety of local relevant information                          principal findings that have come out of the research and
 that may help inform decisions and help information                                 consultation phase that started at the end of September
 retrieval for current and future project research.                                  2017 and finishing six months later. The commentary
                                                                                     piece (right column) is intended to place each in an
 The list of consultees, results of the community survey                             unadorned strategic context.
 and mindmap are included in appendix A.


 Attractiveness of Tuamgraney                                                         1    2   3   4   5
 Within the village today, could you rate the attractiveness
 of what is on offer to the visitor?                                                 (1 = Not Attractive to 5 = Highly Attractive)

                                                                          Parking

                           Tourist Resources (information, signage, things to do)

                                        Regular Events & Entertainment on Offer

                                     Welcoming Environment (Friendly welcome)

                  Attractive Environment (clean, looking good, community pride)

                                        Location / Ease of Access (to the village)

                         Commercial Outlets / Catering / Tourist Accommodation


 Development Concerns                                                                 1    2   3   4   5
 Please rate any possible concerns you may have about
 tourism and heritage development in Tuamgraney?                                     1 = No Concern to 5 = Big Concern

                                                         Lack of Tourist Demand

                        Lack of Continued Support from External Public Partners

                       Inability of the Community to Agree on a Suitable Strategy

Negative Impact on the Community Fabric of the Village due to increased numbers

                    Negative Overall Environmental Impacts eg. cars, litter, noise

          Expenditure on Tourism / Heritage not Necessary in the Current Climate

                         Ample supply of Similar Heritage Offerings in East Clare
12



Ref   Description                                              Zone(s) Comments

      Need for full alignment with emerging Lough Derg /                   Critical attention needs to be paid to the evolution
      Holy Island propositions.                                            of both these significant strategic projects. As much
 1                                                                 3
                                                                           as possible Tuamgraney needs to ‘drive’ rather than
                                                                           be a ‘passenger’.
      Need for enhanced cooperation and joint                              Isolationist thinking and parish rivalry will be to the
 2    programming with Scariff and adjoining                       3       detriment of the community. Partnership and joint
      communities in East Clare.                                           working are the language of today.
      Tuamgraney possesses superior heritage                               Recognise the exceptional ‘assets’ at the
      and recreational assets in a clean welcoming                         communities’ disposal. In themselves they will never
 3    environment in a well located area destined for          2       3   create a tourism destination. Enhanced organisation
      tourism growth over the coming decade.                               and added value will bring these ‘assets’ to a new
                                                                           level.
      Inadequate tourism related infrastructure, skills                    Without systematically addressing clear tourism
      and experience e.g. accommodation & festivals /                      related deficits in the Tuamgraney economy little
 4                                                                 2
      events.                                                              substantial progress can be expected. Enhanced
                                                                           commercialization is required.
      Multiple owners of the primary heritage assets in                    All relevant parties / landowners in relation to the
      the inner heritage cluster.                                          inner Zone 1 need to buy-in to the redevelopment
                                                                           project over its proposed development phases. It’s
 5                                                                 1
                                                                           important to remember any redevelopment is for
                                                                           the benefit of the community and visitor alike. Dual
                                                                           recognition is critical.
      Respected artisan producers with a commitment                        These micro businesses will create employment,
      to the development of the community however                          give the visitor a reason to stop, linger and spend
      significantly more are required to create the                        money. More are required. These businesses need
 6                                                                 2
      necessary critical mass of micro businesses that                     to be suitably networked.
      can form the foundation of a sustainable tourism
      destination.
      There exists capable development drivers, however                    Despite the fact that this is a community / voluntary
      more participation will be required however more                     run enterprise it needs to aim to be managed to the
 7    participation will be required from across the rest of       2       standards of the highest private sector business.
      the community                                                        Commercial acumen and income generation has to
                                                                           be ever-present in the way business is conducted.
      Considerable practical support emerging from                         Recognise, acknowledge and continue to deliver
      CLDC and Clare County Council.                                       for those bodies / agencies that have supported
 8                                                                 2       the community in the difficult early period. They
                                                                           will likely see this as a long term relationship. Be
                                                                           mindful to give them what they seek.
      Potential mid-term partnership with Fáilte Ireland                   Through the ice-breaking of this Study continue to
      as part of the emerging ‘Lakelands’ offering.                        develop the personal relationship with key officers
 9                                                             2       3   of Fáilte Ireland who have been tasked with creating
                                                                           a new heritage tourism proposition around the
                                                                           navigable waterways.
      Key Tuamgraney ‘stories’ are St Cronan’s and                         Tourism is a fast changing sector of the Irish and
      its relationships to Brian Boru & Holy Island and                    global economy. Technology, trends and fashion will
      Visionary Edward MacLysaght so much more than                        influence what the visitor needs tomorrow however
 10                                                                1
      just the founder of modern Irish genealogy.                          to hedge against these vagaries Tuamgraney
                                                                           should focus on its core stories, told by excellent
                                                                           storytellers in an authentic friendly atmosphere.
13




3
Key Recommendations
and Core Strategic
Partners
The apex of any Feasibility Study is a set of
considered and integrated recommendations.
These in turn have evolved from the findings
which flowed from the extensive research
and ‘listening’ phase of the project. The
recommendations in this Study are presented
for each of Zone 1, 2 and 3 and finally some
general recommendations that are key to
delivering over time on the overall vision of
the Study.
St. Cronan’s doorway
14




     3.1

     Zone 1 Recommendations

     3.1.1
     Introduction
     The assembly of St Cronan’s Church, Tuamgraney Castle,         St Cronan’s 10th Century Church
     the Handball Club and the adjacent Parish House on a           St Cronan’s was built prior to 964AD and is the oldest
     single site at one of the main entry points to Tuamgraney      church in continuous use in Ireland. It is a rare surviving
     presents a unique opportunity in which to develop a            building in the country with a direct link to Brian Boru,
     project that is inclusive of Heritage, Sports, Tourism         who is recorded as having repaired the building, with
     and Community uses. More broadly, the public realm             visitors today still passing through the same 10th century
     spaces can be developed in a manner that creates both          doorway used by the High King of Ireland. This is the site
     a strong sense of pride of place for the community and         of the original monastery in Tuamgraney and was a sister
     destination for the visitors.                                  establishment of Holy Island. A round tower also existed
                                                                    within the complex but no trace of it survives.
     Zone 1 is located at the entrance to the village when
     approached from Killaloe / Lough Derg. The proposed            Tuamgraney Castle
     site area along with a field to rear (west) is Zoned in the    This 15th Century Tower House was built by the O’Grady
     Clare County Development Plan 2017–2023 for Tourism            clan to protect St Cronan’s Church in the same way as
     use with the named objective in the Development Plan           Tuamgraney’s round tower (long disappeared) provided
     stating ‘make provision for amenity, leisure and tourism-      protection in earlier centuries. It is a rare surviving
     related developments to contribute to the tourism              example of a tower house in a village setting in County
     product, based on the network of loughs, harbours and          Clare.
     walkways in Scariff / Tuamgraney and the wider area’.
     The site includes two protected structures (St Cronan’s        Members of the O’Grady family almost invariably
     Church &Tuamgraney Castle) which are separated by the          provided the churchmen here from c. 1100 to 1600. The
     Croaghrum River flowing through the site.                      O’Grady clan have very strong associations with Holy
                                                                    Island and the ‘Church of the Wounded Men’ was their
     The site location enjoys prominence to the public road         mortuary chapel on the island.
     which is the major tourism route for Lough Derg and
     Holy Island into the future. The location is also at the
     heart of Tuamgraney village being within metres of the
     Memorial Park. The design intent behind the public
     realm (Zone 1) could be taken forward to inform the
     design style, and finishes for the public realm for the rest
     of the village (Zone 2).
Tuamgraney 60x30
                Handball Alley                                                                                            15




Tuamgraney Handball Club                                       Parish House
The handball club is located immediately behind                The existing Parish House is a single storey, modest
Tuamgraney Castle and consists of both a large format          mid-20th Century dwelling which is currently used as the
(60 x 30) and normal format (40 x 20) handball                 Parish office and community meeting rooms. Set on its
courts, both enclosed. The club has a significant history,     own grounds, it has a large garden area to the rear and
founded in 1911 and was the club of world handball             a front garden which has the potential to engage more
champion Pat Kirby (1970). Kirby also collected four           positively with the public roadway to the front.
successive All-Ireland senior softball singles titles (1974-
77) and six consecutive 40x20 medals (1975-80) before          In conclusion, the buildings located on the site area
travelling to the USA where he dominated the USHA              combine to present an opportunity to consider a
Masters series. He became the first Irish member of the        development that engages in Heritage, Culture, Sports
prestigious USA Hall of Fame in 1986. When looking at          and Community. While the presence of St Cronan’s
the history of Handball in Ireland, it intersects frequently   Church and Tuamgraney Castle anchor the tourism and
with Tuamgraney. The handball club is vibrant and              heritage element of the scheme, the development of the
well supported and includes among its club members             Parish House allows the site area to host the necessary
Diarmaid Nash, one of the top players currently in the         services and social events.
country including Irish Men’s Senior Doubles Champion
2018 and a World Men’s Doubles Winner (2015).                  It is recommended that Zone 1 develop to its full
                                                               potential over 3 clear phases.

                                                                                              Parish House with
                                                                                               Tuamgraney Castle
                                                                                                 in background
16




     3.1.1.1                                                       “Interpretation and information available on, and visitors
     RECOMMENDATION 1                                              encouraged to visit, Tuamgraney—St Cronan’s church
     Conserve and enhance St Cronan’s for the benefit              at Tuamgraney to the south of Scarriff, was built before
     of its congregation, local community and visitors             964AD, and is one of the oldest churches in use in Ireland,
     (Phase 1)                                                     England, Scotland and Wales. A doorway in the church,
     St Cronan’s Church is owned by the Church of Ireland,         through which Brian Boru entered over 1,000 years ago, is
     who are very proud of its unique history and are              still intact.” (Page 131)
     committed to its future. The church is open unattended
     to visitors from April to September each year.                Tuamgraney Development Association with the
                                                                   assistance of funding from the Heritage Council installed
     The building is a place of worship. There are no proposals    visitor / interpretive signage in early 2018 to enhance
     recommended for St Cronan’s that would compromise             the visitor experience but it would benefit from further
     this. The focus is on how the story of the building and       discrete and sensitive interpretation. St Cronan’s Church
     its history can be told in a sensitive manner. Indeed the     has recently facilitated community events such as
     stillness and quietness of the building, providing a place    music and lectures. It is renowned for having excellent
     for reflection for visitors, is viewed as an asset.           acoustics. These initiatives are seen as an opportunity
                                                                   to harness greater community and visitor usage all in a
     The church and Tuamgraney have strong links with Holy         manner that is respectful of its ecclesiastical importance.
     Island / Inis Cealtra and this potential is well referenced
     in the Clare County Council ‘Inis Cealtra Sustainable         St Cronan’s is in good condition and there is no
     Tourism Development Plan’ as documented below:                substantial conservation or construction works to be
                                                                   undertaken with the exception of re pointing of the west
     “Given Tuamgraney’s strategic location on the main route      gable. The building served a dual use as the East Clare
     around Lough Derg and its riverside setting, there is an      Heritage Centre from 1989 to 2014. Substantial repair
     opportunity to stress the historical links between the two    and conservation works were carried out by the East
     ecclesiastical settlements as a way to orientate and direct   Clare Heritage Group in the late 1980s / early 1990s
     visitors to Inis Cealtra.” (Page 22)                          along with significant promotional work. Tuamgraney
                                                                   continues to benefit from the legacy of this work.
     “Focus on the development of Inis Cealtra will be developed
     within the context of the other heritage attractions in
     the northeast Clare area…extraordinary sites that should
     serve as a natural adjunct and onward step from the
     Mountshannon / Inis Cealtra destination, ideally via the
     Pre-Romanesque Church at Tuamgraney”. (Page 73)
Concert at St. Cronan’s Church
                                                                                            17




This Study recommends the following for St Cronan’s:
• Continue to open Church unattended from April to
    September season and build on telling the story of
    St Cronan’s over the last 1,000yrs aided by recent
    signage funded by the Heritage Council;
• Continue to work seamlessly with the Church
    authorities and congregation;
• Devise and install a high quality AV presentation
    on the history of St Cronan’s Church / Monastery
    at Tuamgraney and links with Brian Boru and Holy
    Island;
• Upgrade appropriately the appearance of interior of
    Church;
• Undertake necessary conservation works to west
    gable (repointing with lime mortar);
• Develop a website / Facebook page for St Cronan’s
    that is responsibly managed;
• Encourage wider use of St Cronan’s as a cultural
    space that can be ‘packaged’ e.g. music, screenings,
    talks and boutique conferences in keeping with the
    character of the building;
• Offer St Cronan’s as a unique and historic marriage
    venue;
• Develop a conservation management plan for St
    Cronan’s including for the recording and storage of
    the various stone fragments in the church.
• Reverse temporary alterations from the 1990s as the
    building no longer functions as a heritage centre




   Local actors
   perform the role
   of Brian Boru and
   his brother Marcán,
   at St. Cronan’s
   10th Century Church
18




     3.1.1.2
     RECOMMENDATION 2                                               This Study and the working group fully acknowledge
     Expand and enhance the Parish House as                         that any decision on the future use of the building is
     a community, cultural, and visitor hub for                     a matter for the community and the Pastoral Council.
     Tuamgraney (Phase 1)                                           The purpose of this Study is to create a vision for the
     The Parish House is owned and managed by Bodyke /              building as part of Zone 1, make recommendations on
     Tuamgraney Parish and Pastoral Council. It currently           its potential continued evolution as a space for locals
     serves as a parish office on a part time basis in addition     and visitors alike and advise on the feasibility of any
     to being popular for community meetings and events.            proposals.

     The public consultation clearly showed that its evolution      The benefit of the Parish House is that restrictions
     into a community space in recent years is highly               imposed by the various elements of confinement
     valued by parishioners and there is a strong desire to         (protected structures, existing activity, and available site
     see it enhanced further for community and pastoral             area) of the other three buildings are not encountered
     use. Existing uses of the Parish House and potential           with this building. There is more physical development
     additional uses are contained in Appendix B. The research      flexibility.
     and consultation also noted similar initiatives / projects
     that had been completed in Kilkishen and Flagmount             The recommended development of this structure is to
     in recent years and were planned or underway in                accommodate all existing activity but also develop the
     Ogonnelloe and Scariff and that need and capacity also         location to accommodate a variety of uses allowing
     existed in Tuamgraney.                                         the building to evolve into an important hub for the
                                                                    community / parish and visitors to the area.
     There is also a recognition that a shared use with a visitor
     focus would also be of wider benefit including helping         The design approach to the Parish House therefore
     sustain the house into the future. It would also help          looks to retain all existing functions that the building
     position Tuamgraney to benefit from sustainable tourism        currently carries out and to develop the building with
     development likely to emerge in the years ahead with the       select refurbishment of the existing building and a single
     strengthening of Holy Island as a destination and the          storey extension to the rear. It is recommended that the
     new Fáilte Ireland’s brand- Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands.       existing building is modified to accommodate a café,
                                                                    gift shop and toilets. The rear extension is intended to
                                                                    accommodate multi-use areas which are flexible in their
                                                                    format and capable of exhibition, community events,
                                                                    co-working space, modest interpretation and functions.
Blossom Harp Festival 2018, Tuamgraney
                                                                                                                                19




                                                              This Study recommends the following for the
                                                              Parish House;
                                                              • Bodyke / Tuamgraney Pastoral Council in
                                                                  conjunction with wider parish and community
                                                                  to expand the existing Parish House creating an
                                                                  enhanced community, cultural and visitor space;
                                                              • Devise a structure for delivering the above vision
                                                                  that ensures that the building remains in parish
In addition, the development of the rear garden into a            ownership;
courtyard capable of assembly, play space, community          • Examine potential for expanding the Parish House
events and markets should be considered. The location of          to be of benefit to the entire East Clare cluster of
this courtyard can visually ‘surprise’, given its proximity       parishes as a venue for meetings / talks as well as
to Tuamgraney Castle as well as future linkages to                being a community / cultural centre for Bodyke /
adjoining tourism development in the future.                      Tuamgraney Parish.
                                                              • Using preliminary proposals in this plan, consult
The proposed public realm works (see image) are                   further on project through Community Planning
organised around the idea of unifying all the front garden        Exercise being funded by CLDC / LEADER programme
areas into an open landscaped area. The route over to St          (commenced April, 2018). In particular target
Cronan’s Church could be improved with the installation           consultation at younger (u30) and older (over 60) age
of a foot bridge over the stream, aligning the route from         groups to identify needs. Recognise the current multi-
the Castle to the Church. The landscape works could               uses and reimagine new additional uses going forward;
include a sculpting of the landscape to allow ease of         • If this vision is acceptable (and resources secured)
access to the stream terrace. The visual impact towards           the extended Parish House should be used during
the public road would be strong and positive.                     day time by visitors and local alike. This attractive
                                                                  space could offer: - coffee shop / cafe, learning Zone,
The opportunity of the project would also determine how           local interpretation telling the Tuamgraney story,
traffic speed can be reduced to appropriate and safe levels       tech hub, exhibitions, modest retailing (local crafts)
and present a project of scale to the passer by who is            and events. In additional the existing parish office
encouraged to stop and explore not just the site area but         would be refreshed, meeting facilities improved and
to continue to explore the other secrets of Tuamgraney.           made more flexible, rest facilities expanded and the
In this respect the proposed public realm improvements            outdoors Zone employed as an orientation space
for the area in front of Zone 1 extending up to the               with capacity to host larger groups and events. The
Memorial Park are critical to the overall project.                opening hours should aim to be 9am to 9pm.
                                                              • Devise key stories to be told in the building in spaces
                                                                  that are shared with community uses. Commission
                                                                  an interpretive framework. These include aspects of
                                                                  history / heritage of Tuamgraney / East Clare e.g. literary
                                                                  heritage, war of independence, famine history, industrial
                                                                  heritage, biodiversity heritage, waterways heritage,
                                                                  musical heritage. Further details in Appendix C.
20
     Architectural Approach
                                                                                            Artist’s
     The architectural approach sees the development of
                                                                                        Impression
     public space that achieves an ease of connection between
                                                                                               only
     St Cronan’s Church, Tuamgraney Castle, The Handball
     club and the Parish House.
                                                                            6
     The development of the Parish House
                                                          8
     proposes the full retention of all                             7
     existing activities of this building and
     the development of additional activities
                                                                9
     such as Café (with frontage to both the
     courtyard and the road), and multi-use
     rooms which can be used for exhibition
     and community uses.                                            4   5

     The courtyard proposed to the rear of the
                                                                                    2
     Parish House allows the holding of a variety
                                                                    3
     of events and a place of gathering.

     The assembly of religious, historic, community
                                                                            1
     and sporting uses on the one location is truly
     unique and offers a notable opportunity in the
     development of a community and tourism hub
     for Tuamgraney.

     The proposed development of the public realm by way of
     opening up the front gardens to the existing properties
     will present a very positive aspect to those entering
     Tuamgraney and achieves a sense of place and activity.


     Artist’s Impression only




      1                                             2                           8
21
1 Walkway Bridge connecting               4 Exhibition space within castle    7 Existing Parish House: proposed
    St. Cronan’s and the Castle                                                  Café/ Meetings/Shop & Toilets
                                          5 Future rooftop viewing area
2 Enhanced riverside space created                                            8 Exhibition and multi-use space
                                          6 Boundary wall removed to create
3 Timber screening to create more            a new public realm               9 Courtyard multi-use space
    natural backdrop for castle

                                                                                          Artist’s Impression only




                                  8



                                                                                                        6



                                                                          7
                                      9




3                                           5                                     4




                                                                                          Artist’s Impression only
22




     3.1.1.3
     RECOMMENDATION 3                                            This Study has examined this concept further and
     Explore further the potential of the development            endorses it but on the basis that it should strive to be a
     of a National Handball Museum / Experience                  national handball experience rather than just a handball
     (Phase 2)                                                   museum. It should provide elements of history but also
     The Lough Derg Heritage Audit (2011) recommended            seek to give the visitor an experience of the game through
     that without interfering with its playing function that     exhibitions and / or trying the game.
     the 60x30 handball alley in Tuamgraney could have a
     dual function as a handball museum as well as providing     Potential for GAA support for this should be explored as
     demonstrations on how this traditional game is played.      while handball features in the GAA museum in Dublin it
                                                                 does not do so in a significant way nor is it in a handball
     It suggested that the front wall of the 60x30 court could   setting. A national handball experience does not exist
     be used to project a short documentary about the history    anywhere else in the country and therefore this could
     of handball in Ireland. A documentary on handball and       be a unique attraction particularly if coupled with the
     its history featuring in part Tuamgraney has already        other elements within Zone 1. Handball is the only
     been produced and it may be possible to acquire and         true international GAA sport with the World Handball
     edit this at a relatively low cost. Projection and sound    Championships rotating between Canada, America and
     considerations would also be examined as part of any        Ireland. The potential therefore exists also to bring this
     interpretive framework. It is anticipated these could be    international dimension to life.
     provided without an excessive cost and a viewing gallery
     already exists in the ball alley.                           The design intent and concept is to not interfere with the
                                                                 function and vibrancy of the existing club but to explore
                                                                 how to engage the visitor in a handball experience, to
                                                                 allow observation and to, where appropriate, undertake
                                                                 exhibition of the sport.
23




                                                                                                            Tuamgraney
                                                                                                     60x30 Handball alley



It is acknowledged that as part of exploring this concept      The Study recommends the following:
that potential operational issues would have to be             • Subject to the agreement of the club explore in
examined. As the handball club itself is focused on                more detail the potential for a National Handball
coaching and playing it is not anticipated nor expected            Experience. This is not intended to interfere with
that it would be the main driver of such a project if it           playing activities. GAA Handball Council to be
were to emerge but rather that it embrace and facilitate           consulted and encouraged to participate.
the concept.                                                   • Over time, scope out with the Club the elements
                                                                   of the current space to see what features could be
It is also recommended if Phases 2 and 3 proceed to                refurbished or interpreted in imaginative ways to
address the visual impact of the existing 60x30 alley on           add value to the experience. Ensuring there is an
the background view of Tuamgraney Castle. The erection             ‘experiential’ aspect to a visit to the Club would be a
of a large timber screening is visualised in order to create       distinct advantage for example seeing an exhibition
a more positive backdrop to the castle. This would also            match, being taught to hit a handball, hearing and
present an opportunity for enhanced signage for the                seeing the ‘legends’ that have commanded these
handball club.                                                     alleys down the years;
                                                               • Tastefully screen the facade of the 60x30 alley from
                                                                   the roadside perspective to offer a better backdrop to
                                                                   the Castle.

                                                               In summary, this project could be delivered at a relatively
                                                               modest cost and would appear to align with the
                                                               undiscovered points of interest that should be central to
                                                               the Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands Tourism brand.




                                                 Tuamgraney’s Pat Kirby,
                                                1970 World Handball Champion
24




                         3.1.1.4
                         RECOMMENDATION 4
                         Explore the restoration of Tuamgraney Castle to
                         allow access for visitors (Phase 3)
                         The castle tower is well constructed with some fine stone
                         details throughout. There is substantial repair required to
                         the tower to permit it be used for access and viewing. An
                         initial survey is proposed to review the condition of the
                         external façade from the perspective of soundness and
                         safety. The initial conservation works would look at repair
                         to the stairway to first floor level, repair to openings
                         generally and the conservation of the ground level vault
                         which has the potential to accommodate an element of
                         exhibition. A full bat survey and assessment would be
                         required prior to any works being carried out.

                         Tuamgraney Castle therefore while in need of notable
                         conservation and repair can be made capable of
                         incorporating an element of exhibition to the ground
                         floor vault. Initial ideas centre on the interpretation of
                         MacLysaght’s ‘Surnames of Ireland’. The longer-term
                         vision for the castle is its extensive repair with restoration
                         of stairs and providing access to upper levels including
                         roof level to achieve views over Tuamgraney and the East
                         Clare countryside including Lough Derg.

                         The Study recommends the following:
                         • In partnership with and subject to the agreement of
                             the landowner (MacLysaght family) examine how best
                             to a) make the building as safe as possible b) explore
                             opening the modest ground floor space possibly to
                             house a unique interactive presentation on clans,
                             genealogy and surnames of Ireland and c) technically
                             investigate opening up the upper floor of the Castle
                             with its commanding views over to Lough Derg.
                         • Seek funding for a conservation and repair Study
                             to determine scope of works necessary to allow the
                             building to be accessible.
                         • Investigate the hosting of an O’Grady clan rally
                             to raise the profile of the project and explore, for
                             example, the potential of crowd funding.
     Tuamgraney Castle
25




Killaloe
Approach Road,
Tuamgraney




3.1.1.5
RECOMMENDATION 5
Undertake public realm enhancement works
in front of Zone 1
The public realm generally refers to all areas between
buildings such as roads, footpaths and other spaces
that are in public ownership. The area in front of
Zone 1 extending up to the Memorial Park is an
important consideration for the successful development
of Zone 1 and the village generally. This area lies
within the Architectural Conservation Area (ACA) for          3.1.2
Tuamgraney and it is recommended that Clare County            Conclusion
Council, subject to funding, advance an enhancement           This study concludes there is significant potential in
scheme for this location having respect to the preliminary    Zone 1 and the proposed phased approach is both
proposals in this study. In addition to helping highlight a   sustainable and realistic. Zone 1 has the potential in
sense of arrival to Zone 1, any scheme should also aim to     time to be a signature discovery point in the new
slow down traffic at this key location. Finally, the scheme   Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands and given the advances
should ensure continuity of car parking for existing          made with this study may be considered as a suitable
residential and community properties.                         pilot project for the rollout of this new brand.

3.1.1.6
RECOMMENDATION 6
Examine the potential of the
tourism Zoned lands to rear of site
Into the longer term examine the potential of opening
up some of the tourism Zoned privately owned land
to the rear of the Parish House to facilitate additional
parking and possibly creation of a sustainable community
enterprise. The Study recommends that this investigation
should be done in full consultation with the landowner.




                          Potential means of access,
                     subject to landowners agreement
26




     3.2

     Zone 2 Recommendations

     3.2.1
     Tourism Infrastructure
     1.    Support the expansion of existing and the                2.   Support the expansion of visitor accommodation
           development of new craft and related enterprises              in Tuamgraney
           in Tuamgraney                                                 Even with its abundance of natural and heritage
           It is the small micro businesses in the community             assets there remains considerable work to be done
           that will lead on bringing in visitors, increasing            addressing the lack of basic tourism infrastructure
           tourist expenditure in the community and generating           especially accommodation. The exceptions to this
           employment. Tuamgraney has a long tradition                   include the high quality Fáilte Ireland approved
           of quality crafts with Wilde Irish Chocolates and             Clareville House B&B in the village and the well-
           McKernan’s Woollen Mills both in existence in the             used self-catering accommodation in the East Clare
           village over 20 years. Both have plans to grow their          Golf Village in Bodyke. Tuamgraney and East Clare
           offering to visitors and this should be supported             has to increase dwell time by the visitor, as it will
           by the various development agencies. Tuamgraney               especially benefit from overnighting visitors. Planning
           should position itself as a location for additional           Permission exists for a new hotel and leisure centre
           craft enterprises given its central location and the          in Tuamgraney (Site Zoned Tourism TOU 2). The
           potential for synergy with existing operators and             construction of this hotel would be of enormous
           emerging proposals in Zone 1. On-going work should            benefit to tourism in East Clare and the proposals
           include networking, cross selling, training and the           for Zone 1 if implemented would help sustain such a
           identification of gaps in the provision of commercial         facility and vice versa.
           services. It would be desirable to see the development
           of a formal commercial network of operators and          3.   Support the widening of the food offering
           businesses in the village. Within the new Ireland’s           in Tuamgraney
           Hidden Heartlands, Tuamgraney has significant                 Nuala’s Bar and Restaurant is an award winning food
           potential to be a key destination for artisan crafts.         establishment in Tuamgraney serving both locals
                                                                         and visitors. This Study endorses widening the food
                                                                         offering in the locality with an emphasis on fresh
                                                                         and local. The village would also benefit from the
                                                                         presence of a coffee shop / cafe to serve both visitor
                                                                         and local trade and the potential for this is included
                                                                         in Zone 1.




                                                                     Clareville House B&B, Tuamgraney
1916 Centenary
Commemoration at                                                                                                                 27
East Clare
Memorial Park’




3.2.2                                                            3.2.3
Festivals & Events                                               Recreation & Amenities
4.   Build on success of existing festivals in Tuamgraney        7.   Develop a walking and recreational plan
     The Tuamgraney Community Weekend was                             There are a number of existing walks and amenities
     established in 2012 and occurs each June Bank                    in the Tuamgraney / Scariff area e.g. Tuamgraney
     Holiday Weekend. It is a family focused weekend                  Community Woodland, Scariff Riverside Park. There
     and has potential to grow to attract more day visitors.          would be a benefit to both communities coming
     The Lough Derg 5k / 10k run is a welcome addition                together to examine opportunities for expanding
     to the calendar of events in recent years. There is a            walks with the support of Clare Local Development
     particular opportunity to build themes around the                Company (CLDC) and Clare County Council.
     strengths and identity of Tuamgraney including                   Improvements to these amenities are of benefit to
     heritage, literary, genealogy, handball and its riverside        the local community (health and wellness) and
     location. The Blossom Harp Festival Weekend was                  visitors (things to do). These initiatives and others
     established in 2016 and takes place on Palm Sunday               outlined below will be essential to develop to ensure
     Weekend each year. It is an enjoyable weekend of                 alignment with the new Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands
     dance and music with harp, fiddle and set dancing                tourism Brand.
     workshops, a harp-makers exhibition and it attracts
     participants from all over the Country. There is            8.   Derive a greater benefit from Tuamgraney’s riverside
     significant potential for this festival to grow and              setting and the Lough Derg Blueway
     develop.                                                         In addition to bringing this theme into festivals and
                                                                      events there is potential to harness the benefits of the
5.   Develop a calendar of events                                     recently launched Lough Derg Blueway. In particular
     A calendar of events for Tuamgraney and adjoining                Waterways Ireland should be encouraged to install
     communities will help with improving overall                     a slip way for small boats, SUP’s and canoes etc. at
     inter-village coordination. The aim should be to                 Reddan’s Quay. The start-up of Derg Boat Trips from
     sustainably grow the festival and events offering over           Scariff Harbour in 2018 is a welcome development.
     the coming ten years.                                            As Tuamgraney is a well located Shannonside village,
                                                                      it should benefit from the continued growth of
6.   Support greater use of East Clare Equestrian Centre              navigation on the Shannon. In summary, there has
     as a multi-purpose event space.                                  been a 10% per annum growth in cruise hire sector
     The East Clare Equestrian Centre is a large indoor               for the last 3 years (including 2017), while private
     arena that also houses a well-attended car boot sale             boating continues to increase with 8,500 boats now
     each Sunday. The building has significant untapped               on the system.
     potential as an event space.
28

                                                                                                     Tuamgraney
                                                                                                    Community
                                                                                                   Woodland




                                                                   3.2.4
                                                                   Enhance the Built Environment
          However, despite this impressive growth, boating         11. Enhance the use and appearance of
          capacity is currently underutilised in both Scariff          the East Clare Memorial Park
          Harbour and Reddan’s Quay (35 boat capacity).                The East Clare Memorial Park opened in 1952 is a
          There is likely a perception abroad that there is            garden of remembrance to the War of Independence.
          little to do or see on land. This is best addressed by       It is beautifully maintained by Tuamgraney
          continued product / facilities enhancement coupled           Development Association and is often commented
          with heightened marketing and public relations.              upon favourably by Tidy Town’s adjudicators. It
                                                                       is recommended that it be further enhanced as a
     9.   Explore the potential of forest based                        ‘signature’ piece of open space with the support
          outdoor adventure activities                                 of Clare County Council given its historical
          It is recommended to explore the significant potential       significance and in particular, its central location in
          of developing forest based outdoor adventure play            Tuamgraney and on the Lough Derg driving route.
          e.g. zip wire, adventure play zones and eco discovery        There is potential in time to tell the story of the
          park to add to the educational and outdoors appeal           War of Independence in East Clare in the proposed
          of the village to complement the heritage offering.          enhanced Parish House in Zone 1 and thus create a
          Not only could this open up new markets, but it              link between the two locations.
          could also help extend the tourist season. This should
          be explored further with private or state owners         12. Eliminate derelict sites and property in the village
          (Coillte).                                                   Tuamgraney is largely free of vacant and derelict sites
                                                                       and properties but the exceptions- either side of the
     10. Explore the provision of additional facilities                “old hall” and Dun Carrig are taking seriously from
          for families                                                 an otherwise attractive village. Clare County Council
          A small amount of play equipment would be a                  is encouraged to work with these owners and the
          welcome addition to the village. The Memorial                local community to see these return to beneficial
          Park should be explored as a suitable location for           use. It is essential that these issues are addressed in
          some suitable pieces of play equipment the design,           the short term. They present an opportunity for infill
          materials and scale would need to be carefully chosen        development that will enhance the village.
          and located to fit with the character of the park and
          would require further consultation with all relevant
          stakeholders. Consider also enhancing and expanding
          on picnic areas for families and leisure cyclists.
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