Cork East Fine Gael TD and Minister of State at the Department of Justice, David Stanton has welcomed the funding announcement of €112,500 for the development of a pontoon and gangway in Youghal.
“The announcement is great news for Youghal and will allow for the supply and installation of a pontoon and gangway in Youghal Harbour. Cork County Council has done a huge amount of work to get this project underway and has already secured the necessary planning permission and foreshore licence to allow the development to proceed”, said Minister Stanton.
“Last year eight visitor buoys were put in place in Youghal harbour and these have been very successful in attracting marine leisure tourism to the town. I am confident that the pontoon will build on the success of these buoys and greatly enhance Youghal’s marine tourism offering and lead to an increase in visitors to this historic town.
“This funding is another substantial investment in Youghal’s tourism product. In addition to the development of Youghal’s heritage trail which includes the Raleigh Quarter, the medieval town walls, St Mary’s Collegiate Church and gardens next door, Youghal Clock Gate was opened to the public at the end of last year and is proving very popular. The refurbished boardwalk is also widely used by locals and visitors alike.
“Youghal wastewater treatment plant is also due to be completed by the end of this year and this project along with the other wastewater infrastructure works will allow for further development in the town into the future.
“I am very pleased that Youghal pontoon project has been awarded funding under the Local Authority Harbour programme. This scheme provides for 75% funding by the Department of Marine with the balance being supplied by Cork County Council. I would hope that, if this project is as successful as expected in attracting visitors to the town, this project would lead to further investment in marine leisure facilities in Youghal in the not too distant future.
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It was once a place to be avoided serving as a gallows and jail but on Friday Youghal’s historical Clock Gate Tower opened its doors to welcome visitors. It is hoped the €750,000 refurbishment will boost tourist numbers in the East Cork heritage town.
The Clock Gate Tower was built on the site of Trinity Castle, one of five principal fortifications in late 14th century Youghal. It has had an eventful history which is reflected in the four floors of the building that tell the story of the town from the 1400s to the 1900s.
Despite intermittent repairs, Trinity Gate deteriorated and in 1776 it was demolished and replaced with a gaol complete with a clock and bell.
The Clock Gate Tower’s grim history as a jail is among features highlighted in the interpretive centre which also tells the story, in an audio-visual presentation, of the McGrath family and their experience of living in the tower.
The tower is owned by Cork County Council which has leased it to Youghal Socio-Economic Development Group. The refurbishment was aided by a €200,000 grant from Bord Fáilte and €172,582 by South and East Cork Area Development (SECAD) which includes the tower as one of its Ireland’s Ancient East attractions.
The phased refurbishment of the building, which began in 2008, also included conservation and restoration work funded by SECAD under the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and the National Development Plan.
Project manager, Aileen Murray, said: “Our tour involves our wonderful storytellers, dressed as ‘time’, explaining and describing, encouraging participation, inviting questions, listening to visitors . . . We are sure these elements combined will deliver a valuable and memorable . . . experience.”
There will be tours from Thursday to Sunday until April, and then it will open seven days a week until the end of September. Entry is €9.50 each and is by way of guided tour only. See youghalclockgate.ie or call 024-20769.