Attraction has potential to increase visitor numbers, time and money spent along Wild Atlantic way
Minister of State for Tourism, Michael Ring TD, has announced a grant of €750,000, via the Fáilte Ireland Capital Programme, for a Connemara cultural centre at Pearse’s Cottage in Ros Muc, South Connemara. Pearse’s Cottage is a Discovery Point along the Wild Atlantic Way and the grant is to develop a cultural centre alongside it which will provide visitors with a fully interactive introduction to the Irish language, the local Gaeltacht culture, and the surrounding landscape.
The project will be located on a site adjacent to the existing Pearse’s Cottage; an area renowned for its beauty and wild landscapes within the Connemara Gaeltacht. The cottage is a designated national monument and set within an area of high scenic amenity.
Minister Ring said: ‘It is wholly appropriate that we invest in this project which centres on the language and landscapes that shaped lives and history in the west. Visitors to this country come here to enjoy themselves but also to learn something about Ireland, its people and what made us who we are. A cultural centre at this location will be a worthy addition to the variety of historical and cultural attractions we have on offer and will also complement the Wild Atlantic Way’.
“Today’s grant will facilitate plans to place two new buildings on the current site of Pearse’s Cottage which will be used as interpretation centres. A new car park for visitors will include coach parking and a new trail that will link the two buildings to the existing cottage. It will be a great addition and sure to attract many more visitors to the area, enhancing the experience of the Wild Atlantic Way.”
Fáilte Ireland CEO Shaun Quinn emphasised: ‘We believe that a cultural centre at Pearse’s Cottage can work on many levels – as a gateway centre for tourists to Connemara, as an interactive cultural centre and as a significant heritage site. This attraction offers a unique opportunity to tell important stories about the continuing relevance of Gaeltacht culture and the Irish language and allow visitors to get in touch with heart and soul of local life and traditions. Crucially, in terms of the Wild Atlantic Way, this project has the potential to increase visitor numbers, time spent, revenue generated and satisfaction along this section of the route’.
This project’s progress to date has been led by a steering group comprising; Údarás; the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht; OPW; Galway County Council; and Fáilte Ireland. Údarás na Gaeltachta will project manage the development of the site including all aspects of site acquisition, design, construction and pre-opening marketing and promotion. Once complete, the OPW’s Heritage Service will manage and operate the visitor attraction as part of a wider network of heritage sites around Ireland.