Great Blasket plan runs into difficulties

A LONG-RUNNING plan by the Government to buy the Great Blasket island has run into difficulties yet again.

It has been confirmed by An Bord Pleanála that two people are objecting to a recent decision by Kerry County Council to grant planning permission for a café on the island.

The green light for the café and facilities was given to Blascaod Mor Teo, in November.

Dingle solicitor Peter Callery, a director of Blascaod Mor Teo which owns 17 of the 25 holdings on the island, said at the time the purchase could proceed quickly if there was no appeal to Bord Pleannála.

However, Sue Redican, claimed the island would not get World Heritage Site status if the café proposal and other facilities, was allowed go ahead

Ms Redican, a resident on the Great Blasket for 20 years, also raised concerns about environmental impact and waste management issues.

Virginia Brownlow, a regular camper on the island, was also among previous objectors.

Ms Brownlow, from Co Waterford, objected to the size of the proposed building and feared the effect of the project on the island’s wildlife.

She was also concerned about any damage to the old village where the island writers lived more than 50 years ago.

Last November, Mr Callery welcomed the council’s all-clear for a smaller building.

However, he indicated his company may not submit a third application in the event of further objections.

The decision to grant planning was welcomed by the Office of Public Works which has been negotiating on behalf of the government.

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