The main aim will be to highlight the importance of the gaeltacht and to devise a number of heritage objectives to ensure that the area is appropriately conserved, managed and maintained into the future.
“The interpretation aspect of the project will look at promotion of the area to a wider audience and will also touch on holistic sustainable tourism, ie to ensure an authentic tourism product as appropriate,” the council’s heritage officer Conor Nelligan said.
The project is supported by the Heritage Council and the project team will consist of the Heritage Unit of Cork County Council, Acadamh Fódhla, and Research and Dig — a Cork-based heritage company which has been offered the contract following the tendering process.
“The plan will have two phases — an assessment of the heritage significance of the Muscraí Gaeltacht will be completed by this coming November. The full plan, which will contain recommendations and policies, will be ready by next June or July,” he said.
Mr Nelligan said a number of public consultations would take place over the coming months.
He said the Muscraí Gaeltacht, which stretches from Macroom to Gougane Barra and Ballyvourney, is a unique part of Co Cork which is steeped in heritage. With a population of more than 4,000 people and with an area of just over 100 sq miles, it represents 6% of the country’s total Gaeltacht area.