Way to go. . . Ballybunion on Atlantic Way
BUT BALLYHEIGUE LOSES OUT
THE business community of Ballybunion is delighted with news the town has been chosen as a major stop in the proposed Wild Atlantic Way.
At least one community, however, is gravely disappointed that a famous coastal road is to be omitted from the Way.
The route was to be formally announced on Tuesday night.
Destination Ballybunion, the local tourism and marketing group, say they have been informed by Fáilte Ireland that the coastal resort is to become part of the new route.
The Wild Atlantic Way is the new branding for a coastal drive from Donegal to Kerry and will see €20 million in funding made available in the coming years to improve it at home and market it abroad.
There was massive consternation in north Kerry when the proposal was announced recently as it was feared interests inland were seeking to have the route travel inland through Limerick City and into Killarney.
"The news that Ballybunion is to form a major stop on the Way is a huge vote of confidence in Destination Ballybunion's plans to hug the coast," Destination Ballybunion chairman David Walsh said.
Members Danny Houlihan and Tom O'Leary were thanked for their submission to Fáilte Ireland pointing out how crucial it would be to bring the route through Ballybunion.
One community is less than happy with the proposed route, however.
Ballyheigue County Councillor Cllr John Brassil (FF) told colleagues and council officials on Monday he had difficulties with the proposed route. Rather than closely following the entire coastline of north Kerry it is to veer inland towards Causeway and exclude the scenic driving route around Kerry Head close to Ballyheigue, he explained.
Cllr Brassil said he intended making a personal submission to Fáilte Ireland, who are responsible for selecting the route, regarding the omission of a section of the north Kerry coast from the route. He also called on management of Kerry County Council to make a similar submission regarding the route.
According to Cllr Brassil, Kerry Head was omitted from the proposed route as Failte Ireland believe it is not suitable for cars and coaches and would potentially create a health and safety issue.
Cllr Brassil said the Kerry Head road is regularly and easily traversed by large school buses and copes comfortably with large volumes of local and tourist traffic in cars.