The Great Blasket Island off the Dingle Peninsula is to become a national park with world heritage site status.
The Great Blasket Island is an important historical and cultural site lying off the Kerry coast. It was home to the writers Peig Sayers, Tomás Ó Criomhthain and Muiris Ó Súilleabháin. For over twenty years, the state has been trying to acquire land on the eleven hundred acre island to create a national park with world heritage site status.
Most of the land on the island is controlled by Dingle solicitor Peter Callery. The state's plans are conditional on him getting approval for a café. Peter Callery believes that the state needs to act as quickly as possible to save as much of the existing heritage as possible.
Weaver Sue Redican has spent six months of the year on the island for the past twenty years and opposes the state's plans to develop the island.
It will just alter the whole feeling of the island and once the essence of it is gone, it's gone forever.
The government's decision has been welcomed by the Office of Public Works (OPW) which is responsible for acquiring The Great Blasket on behalf of the state and has a budget of €8 million to do so.
An RTÉ News report broadcast on 16 October 2008. The reporter is Paschal Sheehy.