A PUBLIC consultation process seeking views and observations on how the scenic Gap of Dunloe should be managed going forward resulted in 144 submissions being forwarded to Kerry County Council.
The local authority undertook a broad public consultation, over a number months, to seek suggestions from members of the public and stakeholders about how the area should be overseen from many perspectives, including tourism, transport, access and the environment.
The council said it recognised the need to develop a sustainable approach to managing the Gap of Dunloe given that it is an iconic and internationally recognised feature of the Kerry landscape and is a significant attraction for visitors.
The closing date for the receipt of submissions was last January and, Cllr Niall Kelleher, who raised the issue, was told that the 144 observations, views and suggestions received are currently being examined.
The council intends presenting an initial report on the findings in early 2022 before any decisions are made about what needs to be done.
The main focus will be on road usage and transportation and the provision of marketing the area to maximise its potential.
One of the finest examples of a glaciated valley in Western Europe and world renowned for its scenery, it is a Special Area of Conservation being part of the Killarney National Park, Macgillycuddy’s Reeks and Caragh River Catchment SAC.
The number of visitors to the area has been increasing in recent years and this resulted in congestion and delays on the public roads.
According to the council, that difficulty is leading to a diminution of the experience for some visitors and it is also making it more challenging for residents in the locality.