DURSEY cable car could receive an estimated €10.5 million in funding as part of an ambitious project by Cork County Council and Fáilte Ireland to develop the service.
The proposed development would have two independently operated cable cars with a visitor centre, café and improved car parking on the mainland side.
On the island, there are plans for a small building to receive the cable car along with a sheltered waiting area and toilets.
The County Council is eager to develop the cable car as a unique attraction for the area. “The development of the Dursey cable car and visitor centre project is warmly welcomed by both locals and tourists,” Chief Executive of Cork County Council Tim Lucey said.
“The project will offer planned and controlled growth and would be a strong economic driver for both the area and the wider West Cork region but all the while protecting the ecology of this area which is what makes this place so unique.”
The announcement from County Council follows the 50th anniversary of Dursey Island cable car, which was officially launched by then Taoiseach Jack Lynch on December 5, 1969.
A key point along the Wild Atlantic Way, the Dursey Island cable car is located on the Beara Peninsula and links the mainland with the scenic inhabited Dursey Island.
The cable car has witnessed significant growth over the last number of years, increasing from 12,000 visitors in 2015 to 22,000 in 2018.
Earlier this week, Mayor of the County of Cork Cllr Christopher O’Sullivan praised the cable car for its role in generating tourism.
“The cable car is more than a means of transport, it has become a tourist attraction in and of itself on the Wild Atlantic Way,” he said. “Tourism boosts the sustainability of scenic rural areas, because it creates employment for local people. We have seen how the Mizen Head signal station is accessible by the famous footbridge which features in so many photographs.
“In the same manner, travelling to Dursey Island involves the use of the famous cable car which is an integral part of the distinctive experience.”
Plans for the new cable car system are now with An Bord Pleanála, with a decision expected in Spring 2020. It is expected the Dursey Island Project could be operational by early 2023.