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Keem through the looking glass


Keem Bay and beach in Achill is set to become the second Signature Discovery Point on the Wild Atlantic Way in Mayo.
?Keem Bay and beach in Achill is set to become the second Signature Discovery Point on the Wild Atlantic Way in Mayo.

Keem through the looking glass

Plans advanced for second Signature Discovery Point in Achill

Anton McNulty

A VIEWING platform with a glass floor overhanging the Atlantic Ocean is one of the plans proposed for Keem Bay in Achill after the area secured funding to become a Signature Discovery Point on the Wild Atlantic Way.
The Minister of State, Michael Ring announced that €257,000 will be spent on 35 Wild Atlantic Way discovery points in Mayo in 2015, and funding has been secured for Keem Bay to become the second Signature Discovery Point in the county after Downpatrick Head in north Mayo.
The Mayo News has learned that ambitious plans have been proposed for Keem Bay which will include a viewing platform on the hill overlooking the bay near the old Coastguard station. This will incorporate a glass walkway which people will be able to stand on, with the waves crashing against the rocks underneath them.  
Mayo County Council and tourism bodies have been working on the project for the past three months and Chief Executive, Peter Hynes explained that the project was very exciting.
“There will be a viewing platform at the top and depending on our budget it could be a really exciting project for Achill,” he told The Mayo News.

Local stakeholders
“We will need to consult with the local stakeholders and come to an agreement and that will be happening in the next couple of weeks. It could be a really important tourism feature for Achill and encourage more people to visit the island. The Signature Discovery Point in Downpatrick has brought a lot of people to Ballycastle with B&B people telling me they have had their best season in 20 years.”
The central work of the Downpatrick Head Signature Discovery Point is a Blowhole Commemorative Installation, which is being designed and installed by American architect Travis Price, who has collaborated with Mayo County Council over the past seven years on an annual ‘Spirit of Place’ installation on a variety of sites around Mayo.
The Keem Bay structure will also be designed by Travis Price with an official with Mayo County Council describing the Achill project as a ‘step forward’ from that and will make Achill a must go-to destination. The Keem Bay project will also include a ‘Font of Creativity’ at the beach carpark, which will celebrate Irish creativity at national and local level.

‘Exciting times’
John Nestor, Chairman of Achill Tourism, told The Mayo News that this was an exciting time for tourism on the island which will be promote the island.
“This will be hugely significant for Achill Island and will be used by Fáilte Ireland in their national and international marketing campaigns. It is a very exciting project and all the stakeholders are behind it and we would hope it will be rolled out very quickly. This will be huge for Achill,” he said.  
Minister Ring encouraged the community of Achill, local tourism interests and Mayo county council to get behind what he describes as an exciting new tourist attraction for Achill and Mayo.