Lowry: Cashel missing out due to lack of visitor interpretive centre

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The need to progress plans for a visitor interpretive centre in Cashel has been raised in the Dáil.

Deputy Michael Lowry says the situation has been dragging on for far too long with no site still identified.

The Independent TD says there are too many agencies involved and has called for a focused effort.

He says businesses in Cashel are losing out on the average of 1,000 visitors a day to the Rock due to the lack of an interpretive centre.

“Typically when tour buses stop at a popular destination people on the bus are given a certain duration of time to spend at that attraction. This time usually allows for a visit to an interpretative centre and can be extended then to explore the town.

“If no such centre is available the tour guides often choose to leave the area. And that’s what’s happening in Cashel.

A national tourist attraction of this magnitude requires that all relevant agencies cooperate with a sense of purpose and urgency.”

Minister Ossian Smyth responded on behalf of the Minister of State at the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform Patrick O’Donovan.

He said a number of possible sites for a visitor interpretive centre in Cashel have been examined.

“The next step is to assess the identified site locations. They’re going to be matched against defined criteria to be agreed by the project steering group. They will then have regard to the conceptual special model – and that’s going to encompass the requirements for the proposed new facility.

“If the outcomes of this study are favourable this will then lead to further studies that will review sources of funding, possible management and operational options and other requirements laid out in the public spending code.

“But what I don’t have are dates or costs at this stage.”