Hopes that a village of eight traditional thatched cottages will attract self-catering tourists to Cruit Island in Donegal.

The beauty of Cruit Island in the Rosses area of west Donegal is a natural draw for holiday makers. In a bid to attract more summer tourists, a holiday complex of eight traditional thatched cottages is being developed on the tip of Cruit Island.

Once the thatched cottage was the poor man's dwelling, how times have changed.

Seven highly skilled thatchers are involved in the work on the complex. An experienced thatcher will take eight weeks to complete one house. Thatched roofs will last for 40 years although on Cruit Island they will be severely tested by the Donegal weather.

The promoters of the Cruit holiday village Mary and Conor Ward initially came to west Donegal as holiday makers on Owey Island. They fell in love with the Rosses area and its inhabitants,

I think they’re about the nicest people in the country.

The Wards were approved for a Bord Fáilte grant to develop the holiday village on Cruit Island. Conor Ward is confident the £250,000 investment in the thatched cottage complex will make a return as the self-catering tourism sector is on the rise. Increasingly tourists are seeking their own house where they can do their own thing. A week long self-catering holiday works out relatively cheap for a family, even if the initial outlay can be substantial.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 23 June 1982. The reporter is Tommie Gorman.