LIMERICK and Clare will now be bidding against each other to for the right to build a national Diaspora centre, which could become a massive tourist attraction to the winning region.
Clare County Council has now confirmed its intention to submit a bid to develop and operate the national Diaspora centre that has been proposed by Government.
Mayor of Clare, Cllr Joe Arkins welcomed the proposed bid, saying that being “the host county for this new centre would clearly bring significant benefits for tourism, both locally and nationally.”
Clare County Manager Tom Coughlan confirmed the council is examining a number of locations in the Bunratty area and is working in conjunction with Shannon Heritage on an overall bid proposal.
The government has launched a call for expressions of interest in building such a centre, which will include a facility for people to trace their roots, and a conference centre.
Limerick City Council and other business interests are behind the city’s bid, which Fine Gael TD Kieran O’Donnell said will give Limerick a world-class tourist attraction.
A number of sites in Limerick are being examined as part of the city’s bid, including the former Dunnes Stores unit in Sarsfield Street.
The call for bids for the project will be formally opened in two weeks.
Failte Ireland will make an initial assessment of the bids, which will then be considered by a specialist committee and submitted to Transport Minister Leo Varadkar for his consideration.