Burren Centre Future Plans – June 2020

Dear Shareholder,

I hope you are well.

As we find ourselves in a challenging time, we have put together our own road map for the future of the Burren Centre. Given our current financial circumstances it is vital we steer the Burren Centre in a new direction as outlined in our survival plan below. We are keen to engage with all shareholders and our wider community as much as possible and welcome any suggestions you may have for the future viability and success of this important community amenity and visitor attraction.

We have also attached shareholder and share transfer application forms should you need.

The Burren Tea Rooms reopen on Wednesday, July 1st from 10am-4pm with a new menu and we look forward to seeing you there.

Kind regards,

Management Committee

The Burren Centre Cooperative

Comhar Conradh na Boirne Teoranta

Burren Centre Special General Meeting

All Shareholders of the Burren Centre Co-operative Society (Comhar Conradh na Boirne) are invited to attend a Special General Meeting at the Centre on Friday 1 November at 8pm.

The meeting was requested by over 20 shareholders, following proceedings at the AGM on 13 September, to discuss the size and composition of the Committee, and to allow members of the Society to decide on these matters.

Given the importance of the Burren Centre to the economic future of the Burren and of Kilfenora, Shareholders are encouraged to participate in this meeting.

Bike repair and recycling

Bike repairs are on offer in Kilfenora once again, courtesy of E-Whizz bikes located at the Burren Hub shop in Kilfenora Square.

At present, repairs are on Saturdays only, but may also take place on Wednesdays during the main summer period. (Call 065 70 88846, as opening hours vary during the week.)

Dumping of unwanted bikes is a long-standing problem. Now, a recycling scheme has been started with the support of Clare County Council’s Greener Clare programme.  (This has its own Facebook page here.)

As part of this scheme, the Burren Hub in Kilfenora will undertake any brake related repairs free of charge, and can provide recycled spare parts for free. Free advice on maintaining your bike is also available.

If your bike is beyond repair or if you wish to donate any old bikes, the Burren Hub will take them off you for recycling – bring them to the shop or call to arrange collection.

Note that the Burren Hub currently has a bicycle that was dumped some months ago in ‘Hogan’s Field’ – between O’Gormans shop and the Burren Centre. This will be sent for re-cycling unless an owner is identified. See photo below.

Getting to grips with technology

The Burren Centre, Kilfenora, is the location for weekly sessions where older people can get to grips with the technology tools that increasingly dominate modern life – smart phones, PCs (personal computers) and tablets.

Every Friday morning (10-11am), Lisdoonvarna Secondary School Transition year students are sharing their knowledge of technology with the older generation of Kilfenora and North Clare, in the relaxed atmosphere of the Burren Centre Tea rooms.

The students help to de-mystify and build confidence in using these tools,or just to make better use of them.

Eve McMahon, Aine Brennan, Latisha Carr, Laura Griffey, Gearoid Howley, Cliona Stout, Ruth Costello and Harry Wainwright are the students involved.

The sessions are proving very popular and are continuing until Friday 14 December.

For further information and to book a place, please phone The Burren Centre at 065 7088030.

Kilfenora public meeting (Tuesday, 7pm) on proposed ‘Burren Drive’

Fáilte Ireland are proposing to create a ‘Burren Drive’ – a tourist driving route linked, but separate to, the Wild Atlantic Way.

A public meeting is being staged to consult the North Clare community about this on Tuesday 13 November at 7pm in the Burren Centre. (A duplicate meeting is being held in the Wild Atlantic Lodge on Wednesday in Ballyvaughan.)

 Anyone is welcome, although Fáilte Ireland would appreciate being told if you are coming by sending an email to

The meeting will be attended by Hogarths – a landscape architect consultancy hired by Fáilte Ireland to help design the ‘Drive experience’.  In their words, they wish to be able to tell a story that will make a drive through the Burren come alive for visitors and increase benefits to local people by encouraging responsible engagement with this unique place”.

Hogarths are seeking advice from the community about what those who may use the drive – whether  tourists or locals – might need and expect.

  • What will interest and intrigue them?
  • What is essential or valuable for them to know about the environment, history and folklore of the Burren?
  • What information and pictures do we have in the community that could be used to tell this story? (Please bring anything along you may feel will be useful.)
  • Members of the Community may also need to advise Fáilte Ireland and its consultants of things NOT to do if designing a tourist drive through the Burren.

This meeting is connected to the consultation Fáilte Ireland undertook last year in Kilfenora and elsewhere about extending the marketing of the Wild Atlantic Way inland.

An important question for the Kilfenora Community is how WE should communicate about our village to attract the kind of visitors that we want – ideally people who will stop and stay and spend money, rather than pass through briefly in large coaches (typically on their way to the Cliffs).

Come and make your views heard – we don’t often get consulted about significant tourism initiatives that affect our daily lives!

Some useful facts

Since the inauguration of the Wild Atlantic Way, Clare’s performance in terms of revenue per visitor to Co Clare has actually declined as has its position in comparison with the other counties on the Way – Cork, Limerick, Kerry, Galway, Mayo and Donegal. The numbers of visitors is increasing but revenue is not – particularly in respect of foreign visitors, ie the ones most likely to use the proposed Burren Way. The figures below are the latest available from official sources.

  • Clare had the lowest spend per overseas visitor (€211) in 2017, down 5 % from 2016. By comparison the figure for Cork in 2017 was €393, Limerick €403 – and Galway’s income increased 100% to €352. This is despite a 20% increase in Clare’s overseas visitor numbers.
  • As regards domestic visitors (who on average spend more than overseas tourists), Clare fell from first place to third (2017 vs 2016), with a drop of 18% in revenue to €238 per head. Numbers of visitors fell by 14%. Again, this compares badly with the other coastal counties.

Why is Clare doing so poorly, given all the wonderful tourism features the county possesses?  Is this a failure in marketing of Co Clare? Why in particular are overseas visitor numbers increasing fast and revenue declining just as fast?

The answer in part is obvious to anyone living in North Clare. As Fáilte Ireland knows, there has been a vast surge in coach traffic to the Cliffs of Moher, deriving from Dublin and Galway. No surprise then that the income per head in Galway has rocketed. Possibly the actual decline in domestic visitors has something to do with being put off by this traffic increase – although that is speculative as no analysis has yet been undertaken by Clare Council or Fáilte Ireland.

Thus the challenge for the proposed Burren Drive is this – will it either help or make worse the tourism revenue figures for Co Clare? Will this just mean more people staying and spending in Galway, Limerick and Kerry having driven through the Burren on a day trip? How can Clare Co Council and Fáilte Ireland genuinely help local communities reverse the clear downward trend?

Kilfenora Post Office petition – please sign now

As explained at an emergency community meeting in Kilfenora Hall on Tuesday evening (25 September), a petition and outline business plan is to be submitted to An Post by Friday (28 September).  PLEASE sign the petition – the more community members sign, the more likely An Post will agree to continuation of the service. The deadline for signatures is 2pm on Thursday.

Forms can be found in O’Gormans and Howleys shops and in the village Post Office.

All individuals in families are urged to contribute their names and signatures – including children (bearing in mind that this issue is about their future too).

A crucial development is that The Burren Centre has volunteered to provide a space for a new post office counter. This has made it possible to submit an appeal to An Post.

If Kilfenora is successful in retaining a Post Office – which of course is vital for many community members and businesses over a wide area of North Clare – it is important that people understand and use the very wide range of services that the Post Office provides , including all the bill paying, social welfare and banking facilities (and soon mortgages). It is clear that many people have underappreciated this in the past. Hopefully Kilfenora (and its surrounding areas) will succeed in retaining a facility that is essential for the future economic health of the Burren communities.

See http://www.anpost.ie/AnPost/MainContent/Personal+Customers/  and http://www.anpost.ie/AnPost/MainContent/Business+Customers/ for more details.

Kilfenora Post Office

Kilfenora Post Office

A meeting in Kilfenora community hall is being convened on Friday 7 of September at 8pm. This will discuss issues raised on last Friday night (31st August) regarding the future of Kilfenora Post Office.

There will be no public representatives invited to this meeting.  All members of the community are asked to attend as this is an issue of vital importance to the village.

The recent meeting on Friday 31st August 2018 saw possibly the largest collection of Clare political representatives ever to visit Kilfenora at one time.

Tom O’Callaghan from the independent postmasters’ group and Gerry Duddy of the Irish Public Banking Forum were listed speakers. However, most of the evening was taken up by contributions from three Clare TDs – Pat Breen, Dr. Michael Harty and Timmy Dooley – followed by an array of councillors.

The meeting concluded with the proposal of a local working group to examine what might be done to retain postal services in Kilfenora.


Garda Rural Information meeting, Kilfenora 30.11.17

Ennistymon Garda are hosting a Rural Information meeting in Vaughans Barn on Thursday 30 November at 8pm.

This is a follow up to the similar meeting held two years previously. These topics will be addressed.

  • Crime prevention
  • Farm safety and accident prevention (‘Embrace’)
  • Safeguarding vulnerable adults (HSE)
  • Public Service Vehicle (PSV) inspection
  • Citizen information (legal and other aspects)

There will be stalls with useful information, and in the light of the importance of heart disease prevention, public health nurses will offer quick and easy blood pressure tests.

There will also be spot prizes and a cupan tae!

Kilfenora ‘time capsule’ 2017-2067

The Kilfenora Timeline is creating a Time Capsule which is intended to be re-opened in 2067.

  • Every household is invited to contribute to a record of the village and parish in 2017, which will be opened by villagers in 2067 to reflect on what has changed (or not!)
  • Physical items entered by each household must be compact – for example, a family tree on an A4 page, up to 3 photographs, an account of each household (on 1 A4 page)
  • Alternatively or additionally, households can submit a USB memory stick (also known as a flash drive) with as much information as that can hold – photos, documents, music, video.

All contributions should be placed in an envelope indicationg teh name and location of teh household and given into teh Post Office in Kilfenora by Friday October 6.

The Time Capsule will include a copy of a film being made by John O’Donnell of the Kilfenora Culture Night held on 22 September.

If you have any questions about the Kilfenora Timeline Capsule, call Lisa Carkill (087 742 6757) or Nuala Mulqueeny (086 832 2099) or email

Annual Clay Pigeon Shoot

On Sunday 10th September at  12pm, Kilfenora Gun Club  will stage its annual Clay Pigeon Shoot at the usual location on the Kilfenora to Lisdoonvarna road. Competitions include

  • 15 Bird DTL (Down-the-line)
  • 15 Ball Trap
  • 20 Bird Sporting
  • 3 Cups
  • Novice Shoot

Big cash prizes are at stake!

Many thanks in advance to the sponsors for this year’s shoot – Nagles Bar, the Kilfenora Timeline, The Doolin Ferry Co (Bill O’Brien), Doolin-to-Aran Ferries (Garrihys) and Burke Masonry.

Details are also listed at https://www.facebook.com/KilfenoraGunClub