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Failte Ireland’s allocation of €2.5 million for the development of Spike Island has been warmly welcomed by Cork East Fine Gael TD, David Stanton. The funding will allow for the commencement of the Spike Island tourism project.

“The decision to grant this funding to Cork County Council to develop Spike Island is great news for Cobh and the East Cork area. It will allow the Council to progress with plans to turn Spike Island into a major tourist attraction which it is hoped will attract 20,000 people to the site annually.

“I understand that the project will be developed over a number of phases with an estimated total cost of €40 million. Cork County Council will also provide funding for the development which will include the development of an interpretive centre in Fort Mitchell, focusing on the history of the island as an early monastic site, its role in transporting convicts to Australia and as a military garrison and prison”, says Deputy Stanton.

“The Spike Island project is very ambitious and will greatly contribute to the tourism product of Cobh and the entire harbour area. Cork harbour has a significant marine tourism potential which will greatly add to the local economy especially when viewed in conjunction with commercial activity such as shipping, the research capabilities of the IMERC (Irish Maritime and Energy Research Cluster) at the National Maritime College which recently received grant aid of €1.3 million and the well-advanced plans to remediate the former Irish ISPAT site at Haulbowline.

“Over 60 cruise liners called to Cobh this year providing a great boost to the local economy. The work of local groups such as tidy towns and the significant investment in particular in the landslide programme, which received over €10 million in recent years, and the upgrading of the library, has made Cobh very attractive to visitors. There are also plans to develop a marina. These improvements, the Spike Island project, the proximity of other attractions such as Barryscourt Castle, Fota House & Gardens and Fota Wildlife Park, which is also being expanded, top class hotel and tourist accommodation in the region should all ensure the success of Cobh and the surrounding area in attracting more and more Irish and foreign tourists in the future.