Seven Heads Peninsula Tourism to maintain pressure to secure Wild Atlantic Way route

Seven Heads Peninsula Tourism to maintain pressure to secure Wild Atlantic Way route
Miss Ireland, Aoife O'Sullivan is set for the second annual Courtmacsherry SeaFeast on Sunday next. Picture: Martin Walsh

A variety of local and succulent seafood is on the menu for the second annual Courtmacsherry Seafeast in West Cork on Sunday afternoon.

The event comes as Fáilte Ireland confirmed the lifeboat village is to be included in the Wild Atlantic Way route.

A signposted spur is due to come into operation from Timoleague along the R601 to Courtmacsherry.

However, a Seven Heads Peninsula Tourism group remains determined to have the route extended to the remainder of the peninsula region which incorporates the villages of Butlerstown, Lislevane and Ring.

Meanwhile, Sunday’s event from noon until 5pm is termed “a celebration of the rich fishing and food heritage” and will host a wide array of food stalls featuring local artisan produce and cookery demonstrations.

The original idea for the Courtmacsherry Seafeast was based on the promotion of Courtmacsherry and the Seven Heads Peninsula as a destination for day-trippers and to help increase visitor numbers to support local enterprises.

Spokesperson Barry Holland said: “We were delighted to see so many visitors arrive in Courtmacsherry for the SeaFeast last year.

"It is a testament to the great quality food and seafood that can be obtained in West Cork.”

During the afternoon, cookery demonstrations will be given by Sean Smith of the Cliff Townhouse in Dublin along with James Kavanagh and William Murray, who head the Currabinny Food Company.

Local cafés, pubs and restaurants will be serving seafood dishes throughout the day using locally sourced seafood.

Traditionally, the May bank holiday weekend is one of the busiest times in the village, home to the country's oldest RNLI Lifeboat station.

Meanwhile, a breakfast briefing on Saturday morning in the Courtmacsherry Hotel is aimed at discussing agriculture, food and tourism as well as Fáilte Ireland’s new campaign "Taste the Island" that promotes Ireland as a destination for food tourism.

Speakers include Sinead Hennessy, food tourism officer, Fáilte Ireland and Rosscarbery-based Avril Allshire-Howe of Caherbeg Free Range Pork and West Cork Farm Tours.

Meanwhile, Seven Heads Peninsula Tourism member Mark Gannon said the group's main aim is to have the entire peninsula earmarked as a Wild Atlantic Way route.

“We await the publication of the Wild Atlantic Way Route Review report, due this month, and are very confident that, with the input of Cork County Council, the remaining section of the proposed route will be approved by Fáilte Ireland.”

The group’s proposal, he said, has the support of both the minister of state at the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport, Brendan Griffin, and West Cork-based minister of state Jim Daly who traversed the proposed route in July 2017 and were impressed with its scenic quality.

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