Achill Island Sea Salt visitor centre and production facility officially opened
A unique visitor centre and salt production facility, developed by Salann Mara Acla/Achill Island Sea Salt, was officially opened by the Minister for Community and Rural Development, Michael Ring TD, on Achill Island last week.
The Achill Island Sea Salt Visitor centre, developed with the support of Údarás na Gaeltachta, offers an educational behind the scenes tour of the unique sea salt production facility, a long-forgotten tradition which existed on Achill Island up until the 1800s.
Salann Mara Acla/Achill Island Sea Salt is a family business founded in 2013 and inspired by the history of salt production in Achill, which now produces award-winning hand-harvested sea salt from the Wild Atlantic waters, which surround the picturesque Achill Island. The visitors centre and sea salt production facility is located on the Wild Atlantic Way in an Údarás na Gaeltachta facility in Bun an Churraigh, Acaill.
Tradition and sustainability are central to the ethos of this family business, whose aim was to create a sustainable industry on the island whilst making the most of what their natural surroundings had to offer. The fresh water that runs off the island's mountains and cliffs, together with the wild Atlantic waters, combine to create a pure and natural sea salt, that has proven very popular amongst chefs and customers. not only in Ireland but worldwide.
Bearing in mind the importance of the tourism industry to the island, the owners of Salann Mara Acla/Achill Island Sea Salt recognized that they could offer another memorable experience to those visiting the island by telling the story of sea salt on the island and of their journey to create a sustainable industry.
Kieran amd Marjorie O’Malley, founders of Salann Mara Acla/Achill Island Sea Salt explained: "There is no blueprint for making sea salt therefore our process is very be-spoke and we are very grateful for the local expertise and support we received in the designing of the process. The visitor centre is a recognition of the quality, craftsmanship and heritage of the Achill community."
Údarás na Gaeltachta CEO, Micheál Ó hÉanaigh, said: "Salann Mara Acla/Achill Island Sea Salt is a fantastic example of Gaeltacht entrepreneurship, making the most of the natural resources available to them to create first-rate, award-winning products. We are delighted to be able to support the development of this new visitor centre which adds to the appeal of Achill as a tourism destination that showcases distinctive industries and strengthens the island’s status as a tourism destination known for unique food and drink experiences."