Clare County Council has announced plans to develop a Visitor Services facility at Doolin Pier as part of an overall masterplan for the development of shoreline facilities in the County Clare coastal village.
The Council says the proposed facility will replace existing temporary structures and will be part of a masterplan relating to the development of the Doolin Pier area including the pier area in general, vehicle routes to and from Doolin village, and parking and traffic management.
Among the functions and operations considered within the overall plan will be sale of tickets by a number of Ferry Operators, the serving of food, and the provision of toilet facilities for patrons and staff, public waiting area, luggage holding area, tourism information, car/bike parking, waste management, harbour master office and health & safety requirements.
A new €6m pier is currently under construction and is nearing completion, according to the Council. The project is on target for completion by mid-2015. An estimated 70,000 to 90,000 passengers are carried annually by Doolin-based ferry operators.
“I welcome the steps being taken by Clare County Council to develop a visitor facility at Doolin which has been long sought after by users of the pier,” stated Cllr. John Crowe, Cathaoirleach of Clare County Council.
“Once completed this summer, I have no doubt that the pier will help to drive ferry activity between North Clare and the Aran Islands and the Cliffs of Moher during the tourist season, as well as accommodate other activities – both leisure based and otherwise. It is important that such significant transport infrastructure is complemented by important ancillary services and facilities as proposed in this masterplan,” said Cllr. Crowe.
Clare County Council is presently undertaking a tender process to appoint a Design consultancy team to design the masterplan for the Doolin Pier area.
“Doolin Pier is a gateway to the Aran Islands and is a major economic location in the North Clare area. The investment in the new pier will increase visitor numbers to the North Clare area and it is important therefore, that the necessary services are in place to accommodate this growth,” Tom Coughlan, Chief Executive, Clare County Council.
Mr. Coughlan noted that the Visitor Services facility is the priority element of the brief, to be delivered initially as a “sustainable standalone project” capable of future integration within the overall masterplan.
“As part of the service provision by the successfully appointed design team, a full design brief will be developed through design research and via a consultation process. It is anticipated that the new development will enhance visitor numbers to Doolin and the Aran Islands by facilitating easier and more ordered parking, ticket sales and pier operations. This is all part of the Council’s major commitment to providing improved infrastructure and services at Doolin Pier,” said Mr. Coughlan.