The Minister for Media, Tourism, Arts, Culture, Sport and the Gaeltacht, Catherine Martin TD and the Government Chief Whip and Minister of State for the Gaeltacht and Sport, Jack Chambers TD, have announced their approval of a grant worth €501,160 in order to develop the tourism hub: Áras Scéal an Atlantaigh Fhiáin in an Eachléim in the Iorras Gaeltacht, in Mayo.
The grant will help to develop a tourism centre in an Eachléim - at a total cost of €2.5m, which will present the story of the wild Atlantic as a cultural tourism project. It is expected to attract 30,000 visitors to the region per year and to sustain 27 full-time positions.
As part of the development a 303m² extension will be added to Ionad Oidhreachta Deirbhile in an Eachléim to make space for an interpretative centre, a craft area / café, offices, an emigration hub and an innovation space. Restoration work will be carried out on An Fód Dubh Lighthouse, in order to install interpretative equipment at the site.
The Department of Rural and Community Development will provide the balance (c. €1.9m ) of the total cost of c. €2.5m, and Údarás na Gaeltachta is investing €125,290 in the project. It is thought that it will be open to the public at the beginning of the 2022 tourism season.
Announcing the grant, Minister Martin said: "My colleague in Government and in the Department, Minister of State, Jack Chambers and I, are delighted to approve this grant.
"This worthy project will support additional growth in cultural tourism in the Iorras Gaeltacht. More visitors will be drawn to the area to experience the beauty and the uniqueness of the region as a result of the state investment which has been approved for this project."
Minister of State, Jack Chambers, said: "This project is an excellent example of the way in which the state can assist with a project, a project which will help with community development and the development of tourism in a Gaeltacht area in a practical way.
"This ground-up project is in line with the Government's objectives for the Gaeltacht as a whole as set out in the Government's Action Plan 2018-2022 for the Irish Language.
"The development of this project follows a recent grant announcement of nearly €170,000 being provided by the Department for the construction a new Irish-medium preschool in the area."