BY ADAM MOYNIHAN

 

There was cause for celebration in Killarney this week as the government announced €500,000 funding for a new looped walk at one of the town’s most renowned beauty spots.

 

Local tourism industry chiefs have been working tirelessly on the development of the stunning walking trail, which will run along the shores of the iconic Lakes of Killarney and encompass some of the most spectacular scenery in the country.

 

When complete, the 9km trail will wind through rich woodlands on the slopes of the 735m-tall Tomies mountain and run along the shores of Lough Lein and the beautiful O’Sullivan’s Cascade.

 

The trail is steeped in Irish mythology with Tomies Wood said to have been the summer hunting grounds of warrior hunter Fionn MacCumhaill. Legend also has it that the cairn of stones on the summit of Tomies is the burial place of an ancient Irish chieftain.

 

Killarney Chamber of Tourism and Commerce President, Paul O’Neill, said the half a million in State funding will allow a long-time dream to be realised for everybody associated with the project.

 

“It is fantastic news and a wonderful way to end what has been a hugely successful year for tourism in Killarney,” he said.

 

“We are very grateful to Minister Brendan Griffin and Minister Michael Ring for this fantastic gesture and we are confident that Killarney will rise to the challenge of creating yet another exceptional gem for Irish tourism through the looped walk at Tomies.”

 

The Government has rubber-stamped €500,000 for the development of the Tomies Wood car park and walk, while a further €208,000 has been approved for a major upgrade of the Dingle Way.

 

“This is great news for the tourism industry in Kerry,” said Junior Minister Brendan Griffin TD. “It is crucial that we invest in such world class locations to ensure that they can facilitate visitors sustainably so that everyone can enjoy the experience when they go there.”

 

The Killarney funding will allow for car parking and access to Tomies Wood and the breath-taking O’Sullivan’s Cascade as well as path maintenance and restoration on the Dingle Way, which is a huge attraction and economic driver throughout the Dingle Peninsula.

Minister of State for Tourism and Sport Brendan Griffin on the Shores of Lough Lein with Michael Spillane (Fossa Way), Pádraig O’Sullivan (National Parks and Wildlife Service), Niamh O’Shea (President of Kerry Branch Irish Hotels Federation) and Paul O’Neill (President of Killarney Chamber of Tourism and Commerce). Pic: Valerie O’Sullivan.

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