The 50th anniversary of the opening of the country's only cable car linking Dursey Island in west Cork to the mainland was celebrated today.

Built originally for islanders, Cork County Council and Fáilte Ireland have recently lodged ambitious multi-million euro plans to upgrade the facility for growing numbers of visitors.

Opened in 1969 by the then Taoiseach Jack Lynch, the cable car was used to transport islanders as well as farmers and their livestock.

But busy queues have now become a summer norm.

The plans lodged with An Bord Pleanála include a new cable car system, visitor and parking facilities and an improved access road.

But environmental groups have expressed concerns about the size of the development in such an environmentally sensitive area.

A decision on the planning application is due in the spring.