Market House, Blacklion will provide new focus for Marble Arch Caves Geopark – Feeley

Fianna Fáil Councillor and Secretary of Killinagh Community Development Limited, John Paul Feeley has welcomed the completion of the extension to the Market House Blacklion to provide an Interpretative and Information Centre for the Marble Arch Caves Global Geopark. The extension of the existing community building and gift shop to provide additional space, almost doubling the size of the building and providing detailed information panels, interactive displays and literature on the many sites in the UNESCO designated Geopark across counties Cavan and Fermanagh. ‘This project, substantially funded by Cavan-Monaghan LEADER, is an example of what can be achieved by partnership between Cavan county Council and a local community group such as Killinagh Community Development Ltd.’ The Market House was build in the c 1830 to allow local farmers sell their produce was used in the early years of the last century as a store but fell into disrepair as a result of the Troubles. The building was effectively rendered inaccessible by the construction of a permanent Army and Garda Checkpoint in the forecourt which was removed in or about 1992. Killinagh Community Council secured a long-term lease of ten years of the property and with the aid of funding from the IFI transformed the building from a derelict state to a community building with tourist information, gift shop and community space. ‘The development of the Geopark in recent years and the opening of the Cavan Burren Park last year has seen a huge increase in the number of visitors to this unique part of County Cavan. The provision of a dedicated interpretative centre in the Village of Blacklion, on the N16 and between the Marble Arch Caves and the Cavan Burren Park with information on all of the Geopark sites in Cavan and Fermanagh. The building was bought by Cavan County Council and leased back to Killinagh Community Development Limited who undertook the project to extend and transform the building.’ ‘This project is a key step in raising the standards for tourist to the Geopark. The partnership between the community, the Council, the funding agencies and the relationship between Cavan County Council, Fermanagh District Council and Coillte Teoranta and other agencies has proven vital for the progression of the Geopark. There is huge progress we can make in developing sustainable tourism in this region in the future. Notes Market House, Blacklion purchased by Cavan County Council in 2012. Leased for 25 years to Killinagh Community Development Limited for community use and for the promotion of tourism and local arts and craft with a particular focus on the promotion of the Marble Arch Caves Global Geopark Funding for the extension and fit out provided by Cavan County Council who also provided technical, design, planning and construction supervision. Primary funding from Cavan/Monaghan LEADER in the sum of € 123,000, Input from the local community and from Cavan County Council will bring the funding involved to approximately € 180,000