Beara Tourism was set up in 1970 to promote and develop the Beara Peninsula. The following are our achievements to date: The total value of investments on the projects we have been involved in and the income from these projects is up to 20 million Euros over the last ten years.
1982 - Beara Tourism lobbied for a change of the postal address on the Beara Peninsula, prior to that date most people were using Bantry on their address, Beara Tourism took their complaint to the ombudsman and Bantry was removed from the address and Beara was then included, now most people on the Peninsula use the following address; Adrigole, Beara, Co. Cork, Allihies, Beara, Co. Cork, Eyeries, Beara, Co. Cork, Ardgroom, Beara, Co. Cork, Bere Island, Beara, Co. Cork and Castletownbere, Beara, Co, Cork. This Change has been a major success as people are no longer getting lost coming to the Peninsula. They were under the impression with Bantry included in the address that these villages and town lands were close to Bantry town.
Beara Tourism in-conjunction with the Marine users in Castletownbere lobbied the Government to extend the Fishery Harbour in Castletownbere to include all of Berehaven Harbour. Before 1985 Bantry Bay Harbour Board was the Port Authority for Berehaven Harbour, this change means that the Castletownbere Harbour Master has jurisdiction over Castletownbere Port and Berehaven Harbour.
In 1990 the Beara Way Walking Route was set up. It is a route of 120 miles from Glengarriff to Dursey and Dursey to Kenmare and back to Glengarriff, this also includes Bere Island and passes through towns and villages on the Beara Peninsula. Under phase one we spent €100,000 to get the project started with the good will of the landowners.
Beara way cycling route
In 1995 Beara Way Cycling Route was set up, where Cyclists could cycle the quiet country roads, around the Peninsula. The route starts in Glengarriff and links Adrigole, Castletownbere, Allihies, Eyeries, and back to Glengarriff. The Route is challenging but the scenery is spectacular along the Route. . Total cost €40,000
Beara Historical Trail
In 1996 Beara Tourism opened the Beara Historical Trail, the Trail includes up to 25 Archaeological Sites, which is sign-posted from the public roads and parking provided. The Sites include Stone Circles, Standing Stones, Wedge Graves and Mythical Sites like the Hag-of-Beara. . . Total cost €10,000
In 2001 our association built a Tourist Office in the grounds of the Church of Ireland in Castletownbere, with the kind permission of the Church of Ireland Authorities - the office is open 200 days a year giving out Information of the Services and Activities throughout the Peninsula. Total cost €25,000
Removing of the ESB networks on poles in Castletownbere and Rerrin
Beara Tourism in partnership with ESB and Cork Co Council part funded the under grounding of the ESB networks in Castletownbere and Rerrin. The ESB also erected new public lighting in Castletownbere and Bere Island as part of the project. Total cost was €400,000
Removing of the Eircom networks on poles in Castletownbere and Rerrin
Beara Tourism in partnership with Eircom and Cork Co Council part funded the under grounding of the Eircom networks in Castletownbere, Allihies, Eyeries ,Ardgroom and Rerrin. The overhead cables has been remove , which makes the town, and villages look much better Total cost was €500,000
USS the Sullivans navy ship
The visit of the USS O Sullivan navy ship to Berehaven in the summer of 2003. This was a project that was in the planning for ten years. The chief of the O sullivan clan requested the visit of this ship when the ship was launched on the east coast of American 1993.Beara Tourism in partnership with six community groups organized the events in Adrigole, Castletownbere, Bere island, and Eyeries when the ship arrived in Berehaven . The cost of these events and of bringing the navy ship to Berehaven was over 1 million Euros with the US Navy helping to cover most of the cost.
The Four Hundred anniversary of the March of O Sullivan to Leitrim
In the summer of 2003 Beara Tourism with 60 other community groups in Co Cork, Limerick, Tipperary, Galway, Rosscommon, Sligo and Leitrim hosted events and festivals in each town and village from Beara to Leitrim as part of the 400 years anniversary of the March of O Sullivan Beara in 1603. Over ten thousand people were involved in these events. RTE produced a programme on these events. The total cost of these events € 400,000
Signal towers events
In 2006 was the 200 anniversary of the building of 81 signal towers around the coast of Ireland. Beara Tourism decided to mark the anniversary with a chain of festivals from Donegal to West Cork and on to Dublin . On a Sunday in June all 81 bonfires were light at the same time to mark the anniversary.
Beara Breifne Way
Beara Tourism in partnership with the Heritage Council, Cork, Galway and South Tipperary County Councils have developed Phase 1 of the Beara Breifne Walk Way which follows the Historic March of O'Sullivan Bere, from Beara to Leitrim, 160 miles of this Route is developed. It is planned to complete this project over the next 4 years. The lead partner was the Heritage Council with funds from Failte Ireland , the total cost of this phase was 2.9 million
Broadband in Beara
Over the last three years broadband has been turned on in Castletownbere, Bere Island , Eyeries and Glengarriff. There are over eight hundred households and businesses with broadband on the peninsula. Some businesses have up to 7 Mbits with a choice of five difference service providers. These exchanges in Castletownbere and Bere Island were enabled by Eircom with a contribution by Beara Tourism in conjunction with Bere Island project and Urhan Community Council. Beara Tourism in partnership with Allihies Coop is part funding the roll out of broadband in Allihies and Adrigole, which was turned on in March of this year. The last areas on the Cork side of the peninsula is Ardgroom and Garnish. Beara Tourism and the Caha Centre has requested Eircom to cost them, It is hoped that funds can be sourced for these exchanges early next year. This is very good news for the Beara region as many parts of Co Cork and Kerry are still waiting for broadband. It is great to see the all these community groups working together in the area for the greater good. The total cost of this project €240,000
Major up-grading of the Beara Way
In 2008 a major up-grading of the Beara Way in Bere Island, Dursey, Lauragh, Tousist and Bunane was undertaken, which included replacing 60 Stiles, 10 Bridges, 300 Markers and 50 Finger Posts, due to this up-grade the National Trails Office deems that the Beara Way is one of the top 5 Walks in the Country. This was part funded by Kerry Co Council, Failte Ireland and Beara Tourism. Total cost €300,000.
The Walks Scheme
Beara Tourism had a major role in developing the Walks Scheme, which is a Scheme where Farmers can apply to carry out maintenance on a Route of National Importance, which passes through their land. To date 420 Farmers have joined this Scheme on the Peninsula, which is worth half a million Euro a year to these LandOwners. The contracts are between the landowners and the Leader companies . It is estimated that the Beara Way is worth up to 2 million Euros to the tourism industry on the peninsula from walkers per year.
In 2009 Beara Tourism developed the Lonehart Heritage Trail in partnership with Bere Island coop and Cork County Council. This walking trail links the Lonehart battery to the Beara Way. The Lonehart battery was build by the British navy to protect their navy ship in Berehaven. Total cost was €90,000
Allihies Mines Heritage Trail
In 2009 Beara Tourism in conjunction with Allihies Mines coop developed the Allihies mines Heritage Trail . This route starts at the museum and is over 10 km long and passes close to all the old mine buildings in the Allihies parish and back to the museum. Total cost was €80,000 and was funded by Cork Co Council,Failte Ireland and Beara Tourism
Launch of Ondine in Castletownbere
In the summer of 2008 Neil Jordan produced a film on the Beara Peninsula called Ondine. This film was launched in the spring of 2010 in Dublin. The first four public showings were in the cinema mobile in Castletownbere. The launch was organized by Beara Tourism and the Sports Hall Committee. The launch was a major success and it is hoped that this film will help to promote the Beara Peninsula.
Social Schemes on the peninsula
Beara Tourism has worked with West Cork Community Partnership and Fas in drawing up a work plan for RRS staff and CE Staff on the peninsula. In the last ten years great work has been carried out by these schemes and has brought in €3000,000 to the peninsula in wages.