News from Cape Clear Ferries

Cape Clear’s Day of Flags

Cape Clear Ferry Blog

Cape Clear’s Day of Flags

Cape Clear’s Day of Flags

Lá na mBratacha

Dúchas logo for Cape Clear Heritage & Fastnet Center

Works begin on our New Heritage & Fastnet Center

Tús maith leath na hOibre

Cape Clear Island has ambitious plans to have a new Heritage & Fastnet Center open for Summer 2024. The first practical steps were marked on September 6th 2023 with the raising of 5 flags at the proposed Center and its immediate vicinity.

Cape Clear Island Flag

Brat Oileán Chléire

Raising the Cape Clear Island Flag
Patsy O’Drisceoil raising the Cape Clear Island flag

Islander Patsy Ó Drisceoil raised the Cape Clear Flag close to St Ciarán Gallán and Holy Well in North Harbour. This recalls 5,000 years of Island history represented by the Cape Clear Stone. Also  40 years of work by Éamon Lankford developing an impressive collection of artifacts from the Island, carrying out extensive research on its history and folklore of our Island and producing a collection of publications about Oileán Cléire. We are optimistic about the return of the Cape Clear Stone, currently in a museum in Cork City  itself to the Island and also the proposed relocation of Gallán Ciarán back to this grassy area, where it stood until the early 20th Century to be safe from passing traffic. This flag was first conceived for the Heritage Centre and later was adopted  as the Island Flag .For this special occasion we used the  original hand made flag. We normally use a printed version but this was a special occasion.

Children’s Flag

Mól an óige agus tiocaidh siad.

Caolfhionn & Sorla our youngest children  raised this flag assisted by their mother

Caolfhionn, Sorla & Roisín
Raising the flag for the new children’s playground on Cape Clear

Róisín for our proposed new playground.  Planning permission has been secured and a fundraising campaign is underway. This will be a great addition to the other developments in this area like the relocated Library and of course the new Fastnet & Heritage Center. But the main reason is to cater for our future children and for this there is a campaign underway to secure additional permanent housing on the Island  as a matter of urgency.

Michael John Fastnet Flag
Michael John raising Fastnet Flag

Fastnet Flag

An Charraig Aonair

Micheal ó Ceadagáin raised the flag for the Fastnet Rock & Lighthouse. Being one of our older residents he has spent a lifetime working for our Island as Chairperson and Manager of Cape Clear Coop and in many other roles as well. But one role in particular comes to mind because Micheál is one of the Iron Men of Cape Clear. These mariners plied an arduous trade in the 1960’s delivering coal to the Fastnet Lighthouse. Incredibly, Micheál and his companions had to carry bags of coal on their shoulders up those 99 steps to the lighthouse itself.  Micheál represents the very close relationship of Cape Clear with the Fastnet including the fact that the original lighthouse for the area was based not on Fastnet, but here on Cape Clear. 

O’Driscoll Flag

Ó Drisceoil abú

Eleanor O Driscoll Flag
Eleanor raising O Driscoll Flag

Eleanor Uí Drisceoil raised the O’Drisocoll Flag. This reminds  us of the Island’s  O’Driscoll heritage and that the O’Driscoll Worldwide Archives are to be kept here. Eleanor represents her late husband Concubhar Ó Drisceoil, a well-known Island Ferry Skippers and the only O’Driscoll Chieftain from the Island in contemporary times. Concubhar and Eleanor are renowned for their Fáilte is Fiche ( great welcome)  to all comers and we hope that O’Driscolls worldwide will continue to find a warm welcome in this new Center.

National Flag at Cape Clear Heritage Center
National Flag at Cape Clear Heritage Center

Irish Flag

Brat na hÉireann

Don Colbert and Dónal Ó Gallchóir from Fáilte Ireland  raised our National flag. Our goal is to develop a Heritage Center that will merit national and international prominence. This first phase is to be followed by other significant developments. Included are our maritime heritage including many of the local historic shipwrecks, a tower to show the history of the harbor, Church and Castle from inside out and more.

We appreciate the many developments in recent years that gel naturally with this project. They include our popular new marina nearby, our library & archives under relocation, our new 200 pax ferry appropriately named Carraig Aonair, an  inspirational Lavender

Design for Cape Clear Heritage Center
Design for Cape Clear Heritage Center

initiative, Language Plan, distillery and the reconstructed Danzig building at the other end of the harbour, two new marked trails on both sides of the harbor,  and many other initiatives. We are fortunate that there are so many people and groups working for our progress.

We are grateful for the support from Fáilte Ireland towards the inspirational designs created by Mark Roosli of Mirador Media. Also to Údarás Gaeltachta for the reconstruction of this former store. Also LEADER, The BIM Brexit  Blue Fund, Cork Co Co and too many others to mention. There is a bigger day to come when this building will be fully laid out and ready to greet visitors and islanders alike.