Above: Left to right (back): Neil Lucey, Bernard O’Sullivan, Fionnbar Walsh, Tim O’ Leary, Michael Collins M.C.C., Mick Cremin, (front) Caroline Crowley, John Tobin, Dr. Denis Cotter, Eileen O’Shea, Tadhg O’Sullivan and Ciarán Cronin
The Three Heads Tourism Development Association is a new grouping of West Cork Community Groups, Tourist Associations and individuals from the three West Cork peninsulas of Mizen, Sheep’s Head and the Beara Peninsula, who have come together to develop the potential of The Three Heads of West Cork as a destination on the Wild Atlantic Way.
Speaking about the formation of the new association, Chairman Dr Denis Cotter said: “I don’t think many people realise that the Three Heads of West Cork – the Mizen, Sheep’s Head and Beara peninsulas – actually account for 10 per cent of the entire route of the Wild Atlantic Way.”
Members of the Association represent all the major community groups of West Cork, including The West Cork Islands Community; the Goleen and District Community Council; Promotion Beara; Gougane Barra; Bantry Development and Tourism Association; Glengariff Tourism and development Association; Sheep’s Head Co-Operative; Mizen Community Partnership, and Explore Baltimore.
The group hopes to capitalise on the recent successes of West Cork tourism initiatives, which included Responsible Tourism Awards for Sheep’s Head and Bantry Tourism, Atlantic Sea Kayaking, and Mizen Head Signal Station and Visitor Centre.
“The fact that the overall winner at the Responsible Tourism awards was Atlantic Sea Kayaking and Wild Atlantic Walks, which is based on the Three Heads, is a major boost to the area”, said Denis Cotter. “The awards show that people could get a complete experience of the Wild Atlantic Way by basing themselves in West Cork and exploring the three peninsulas. Everything that people have shown that they love about exploring the WAW – walking and biking, the coastline, watersports, great food and drink, hospitality and uniqueness – are things we can offer on the Three Heads of West Cork.”
Dr Cotter and his association want to show people that taking time to explore the Three Heads of West Cork – ‘The very edge of the edge of Europe’ – will give them unique experiences of one of the most beautiful parts of Ireland.
The Three Heads Association is looking forward to developing the region as a strong tourism destination on the WAW. There are plans to hold an information evening to share the groups’ aims with residents of the Three Heads of West Cork, and the group has issued a message to share with local communities:
The Three Heads of West Cork group brings together business and community groups from across West Cork’s three peninsulas and seven islands to promote the fantastic tourist experiences available in this unique area.
By communicating with each other more effectively, and combining our promotional efforts, we will be able to offer tourists a more coherent picture of what’s on offer on the peninsulas and islands in the westernmost part of West Cork.
The group provides a structure which will help us to promote all the experiences and attractions across the peninsulas and islands. It creates a framework for discussion, collaboration and promotion.
It will also create a forum for discussion about the future development and expansion of tourism on the peninsulas and islands so that our success and expansion will be managed with due regard for the protection of our outstanding natural environment and local communities.
The Three Heads Tourism Development Association Steering Group is made up of
Dr. Denis Cotter (Bantry), Mick Cremin (Bantry), Eileen O’Shea (Bantry), Fionnbar Walsh (Bantry), Michael Collins M.C.C. (Mizen), Bernard O’Sullivan (Mizen), Tadhg O’Sullivan (Beara), Chris Harrington (Beara), Neil Lucey (Gougane Barra), Tim O’ Leary (West Cork Islands), Ciarán Cronin (Sheep’s Head), Caroline Crowley (Sheep’s Head) and John Tobin (Sheep’s Head).
The group can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.