A Conservation Plan for Inishmurray
Inishmurray is a special island but is also a fragile place. It is famous for its early monastic remains and is home to internationally important seabird colonies. It also has a special place in the hearts of the many Sligo people who are descended from or acquainted with the islanders who left Inishmurray for the last time when the island was evacuated in 1948. Their houses remain and, of course, the island is still privately owned by those families.
In recognition of the special character of Inishmurray, Sligo County Development Plan proposes its designation as a Special Amenity Area. This would impose certain constraints on any future development of the island but would also ensure its protection. To get this process in motion Sligo Heritage Forum appointed the Institute of Technology, Sligo, to assemble an expert team and to develop a Conservation Plan for the island. The team includes Dr Don Cotton (ecologist), Jerry O’Sullivan (archaeologist), James Hanrahan (heritage toursim), John Cronin (planning & architectural heritage) and Dr Jeremy Bird (co-ordinator) supported by other members of staff at the Institute of Technology.
Dr Bird and his colleagues are currently gathering as much information as they can find about Inishmurray’s history and ecology, about the community that occupied it until 1948, and about current visitor expectations and behaviour on the island. The landowners and statutory bodies will be first among the consultees but the concerns and opinions of the general public are important too. A series of public consultations is proposed in the near future. These will be advertised in the local media but if you would like to participate then please register your interest now by sending a card or e-mail with your name, address and phone number to Ms Sharon Eastwood, Heritage Officer, Sligo County Council e-mail:(email@example.com).
One aim of this project is to create an ‘Inishmurray Collection’, to be housed in the Library of the Sligo Institute of Technology. If you are in possession of any relevant material, you might consider donating these to the collection or simply allowing a copy to be made. Nothing is too recent or trivial, so do not hesitate to contact Dr. Jeremy Bird on 071-9155436 if you are in possession of any photographs, newspaper cuttings, drawings, notes or any other records or memorabilia associated with Inishmurray.
If you have any concerns or views about the future of Inishmurray and wish to be consulted about the proposed Conservation Plan register your name and contact details with Sharon Eastwood, Heritage Officer, Sligo County Council (firstname.lastname@example.org) or 071-9111255.
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