A tourism project for Glenflesk has yet to begin despite it getting of €430,000 four years ago.
The proposal to build a world class mountain bike trail at Shronaboy, Glenflesk was a joint initiative between Kerry County Council, Cycling Ireland and the landowner Mr Con O’Donoghue. It was grant aided by Fáilte Ireland under the tourism capital development programme. It was hoped the mountain bike trail – the second highest in Europe – would become a major tourist boost for Glenflesk and the surrounding areas.
Efforts are currently under way to save the project.
The project was to have been Kerry’s first mountain bike trail and that it would attract international competitions as well as amateur enthusiasts.
Through a Freedom of Information request, Radio Kerry’s learned that the project’s planning permission, granted five years ago, is due to expire in three weeks. An extension of planning has been sought.The trail was initially due to be completed in December 2012.
However, there’ve been administrative delays by Kerry County Council and Fáilte Ireland as well as a delay relating to an operational guarantee.
The county council asked that Fáilte Ireland change a requirement that it, the local authority, would provide a ten year guarantee for the project. Failte Ireland agreed that Kerry county council would provide a guarantee only for summer months, with the licence to operate the venture being put out to tender annually. In all, it took over a year to sign off on a letter of offer for the grant. Other factors in the delay may relate to insurance as well as to a lease agreement.It’s understood discussions have taken place in recent days involving the stakeholders and in the hopes that agreement can be met.
Radio Kerry is awaiting a response from Cycling Ireland and Kerry County Council.