Scattery Island, located in the Shannon Estuary off Kilrush, has been short-listed in this year’s EDEN (European Destination of Excellence) competition to find the destination in Ireland which has best used its local tangible cultural assets to grow visitor numbers.
Along with Scattery Island, the other finalists are the Ceide Coast, Mayo and The Norman Way Wexford. The overall winner will be announced at the end of September.
EDEN is an EU project promoting sustainable tourism development across the European Union and is held every two years in 29 member states.
The theme of the 2017 EU-wide EDEN competition is “Tangible Cultural Tourism” and the three Irish finalists are now preparing for on-site assessments during the week of Monday, September 4 when they will be visited by a panel of expert adjudicators.
The assessment of the finalists will allow each one an opportunity to provide further evidence to show how they are balancing their own tangible cultural assets with the local environment to develop a viable tourism destination.
Commenting on being shortlisted, Ian Lynch, Scattery Island Heritage and Development Group said, “We are delighted to be selected for this year’s EDEN Award short list. While it may be a surprise to many, locally we have long since recognized the unique and magical experience of Scattery Island. The Scattery Island Heritage and Development Group have worked hard over the last number of years with our partners in the OPW, Clare County Council and wider community groups to ensure development of the island has taken place in line with best practice given its unique place in our local culture and its unparalleled built heritage spanning 1400 years.”
The 2017 winning destination will receive marketing assistance in the form of a dedicated photo shoot of the destination – as well as a certificate of achievement. Also, the EU will profile the winning destination from each Member State on www.edenineurope.eu and will offer each winning destination, participation in the EU EDEN network.
In 2016, Scattery Island Heritage Group organised an impressive clean-up of briars and scrub, which completely altered the vista close to the Napoleonic battery point. Acres of briars were cut and mulched, leaving that part of the island more accessible.
The Napoleonic battery point was built by approximately 600 people, over a four to five-year period, in the years leading up to 1815. The battery point is one of several on the estuary, along with Kilcredaun in Carrigaholt, Doonaha and Kilkerrin in Labasheeda. All are visible from each battery point, as are the battery points on the Kerry side of the estuary.