Fianna Fáil County Councillor, John Paul Feeley welcomed the signing of contracts between Cavan County Council and P & S Limited for works at the Cavan Burren. The work will involve the construction of an unmanned interpretative centre, toilet blocks, picnic area and walks at the Cavan Burren site outside Blacklion.
‘The investment in excess of €900,000 will make the Cavan Burren much more accessible to the general public. The signing of these contracts, opening up this historic and unique geological and archaeological site, a huge spend on the site is an investment in the future.’
The on-going development of the Cavan Burren site has been made possible by a partnership arrangement between Coillte Teoranta and Cavan County Council, leasing the main sites in the Burren and the surrounding areas to Cavan County Council who have worked with other funding agencies to secure the financial resources needed. This project is funded under the Border Uplands Programme by ICBAN under the INTEREG 4A Programme.
‘The Cavan Burren and the Marble Arch Caves are the two lynchpins in the UNESCO designated Marble Arch Caves Global Geopark, the first cross border geopark in the world. Opening up this site is vital. Already the site attracts substantial members of visitors and it is expected that the further development will make the site physically more accessible but the additional signage and interpretative panels will allow the site become more understandable also.’
In addition to the building, an improved roadway, suitable for buses and cars, a substantial carpark and walkways totally over 6kms, 1km of which will be fully accessible to all users. In addition the site links into the Cavan Way and a number of other looped walks recently developed under the Harnessing Natural Resources Programme.
‘Bill Murphy and Eugene Griffin of Coillte have worked very closely with John Branigan, Derry Scanlon and Eoin Doyle, Director of Services for Cavan County Council to bring this project to fruition. I congratulate them on the work and wish the contracts, P & S Limited well as they set about implementing the plans. We must now push on with the project of developing the Geopark to its full potential, this investment is key to that.’
The plans are very sensitive to the site which is of huge significance. Within the site are five designated National Monuments together with over 80 sites of archaeological sites all in a setting of international geological importance.
‘There have been many delays along the way in bringing this project to the present level. Whilst funding 12.5% matching funding has been in place in this jurisdiction for over three years the remaining funding from the Stormont Executive took longer to put in place. County Manager, Jack Keyes has played a major role in this project and I thank him for his work.’
With contractors on site, all working under the supervision of Coillte, the County Council and archaeologists and geologists to ensure the sites are protected it is expected that work will be completed within six months.