The Infrastructure Spokesperson for Doolin Tourism and operator of Doolin2Aran Ferries and Cliffs of Moher Cruises has said that the €6m first phase redevelopment of the pier will lift the shackles off businesses there.
Speaking today at the launch by the Minister for Public Expenditure & Public Reform Brendan Howlin of the newly developed 60m pier, Eugene Garrihy predicted that the investment has the capacity to transform the pier into the West of Ireland’s busiest.
Up to now tidal restrictions have prevented sailings for up to four hours in the early afternoon at the pier, denying operators business at the peak time of the day. “There are up to 100,000 passengers leaving Doolin every year for the Aran Islands and the Cliffs of Moher Cruise but we really believe this investment in the pier, which is the best money spent here for decades, will double within the next three to five years now that this pier has been redeveloped,” said Garrihy.
“We were completely hamstrung in the past by tidal issues, which prevented us from scheduling sailings for a peak period of the day but now that the pier is redeveloped the shackles are definitely off for us. We can now say with certainty that we will be sailing throughout the afternoon and that’s the type of certainty that tourists and tour operators need. It will mean we will be able handle many more people here at the pier which is good for business us and good for the Aran Islands also.
“It’s also a very timely investment with the launch last year of the Wild Atlantic Way, which we believe is one of the best tourism initiatives undertaken in Ireland. Doolin is already doing really well and almost at capacity so the growth from this will really benefit towns around here like Ennistymon, Lisdoonvarna, Lahinch, Ballyvaughan, etc as well.”
Also speaking at the launch, Mr Garrihy’s daughter, well known actress Aoibhin said it was a great day for the family and Doolin. “We’ve grown up with Doolin in our blood and this is a great day for the village and for the neighbouring towns in Clare as it is going to really drive business,” said Garrihy, who starred in Fair City and The Fall.
“Doolin is already a very well-known place but between the pier development and the Wild Atlantic Way promotion, it is going to be a name on a lot more people’s lips both in Ireland and internationally. We just need to make sure that the growth here is managed properly and respects the sensitivity of the landscape and surrounds.”