Top of Croghan hill set to be sold in historic deal
It was announced at the June meeting of Offaly County Council that the local authority is set to purchase the top portion of Croghan Hill.
Outgoing Cathaoirleach of Offaly County Council Cllr. Liam Quinn has welcomed the announcement, describing it as "a very positive news story for Croghan."
"The idea of bringing the top of Croghan Hill into public ownership has been something which people in the locality have sought for many years. I have been working on this proposal with our Heritage Officer and Director of Services for quite some time and it is great to see this project progressed," Cllr. Quinn stated.
Until now, the public use of Croghan Hill has been at the discretion of the local land owners, but the council revealed a vision for the site to be formalised into a tourist attraction.
"Croghan is a very significant part of County Offaly’s historical story," Liam said, and "one of the most significant national historical finds made in recent years was the recovery of “Old Croghan Man” from a bog just beside Croghan Hill."
Croghan is also associated with the pre Christian era and linked to some of the earliest settlements within County Offaly.
"There are the remains of a medieval village and Church located in this area also. The hill has a long association with both St Patrick and St. Bridget, an association that runs very deep with the local community," Liam explained.
"On a geological front Croghan is the remains of an extinct volcano and has a rich variety of flora and fauna which have been the subject of publications over recent years. The summit of the hill offers commanding views of the province of Leinster and is a very popular attraction to both locals and visitors alike," Cllr Quinn continued.
"There has been much focus on developing local tourism in Offaly lately particularly with our inclusion within the “Irelands Ancient East” initiative. In drawing up our tourism package much of the material relates to South and Mid Offaly because of the many fine sites located there such as Birr Castle and Clonmacnoise," Liam said.
"I believe with modest investment and planning we can now include Croghan as part of this tourism product and give this area the recognition it deserves. We now intend to apply to the Department for funding under the Town and Village Renewal Scheme to do the necessary work on this site such as reinstating the original walkway and providing signage that explains the various features on the site."
"I will be working with Minister Michael Ring T.D. to ensure that the outstanding funding to deliver this project is delivered under the 2018 Town and Village Renewal Scheme."
"It has been a long held ambition of mine to see this project undertaken and I am delighted that this has been achieved during my term as Cathaoirleach," Cllr. Quinn concluded.
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