We are conducting a feasibility study into the possibility of an underwater museum with funding provided by Mayo North-East LEADER through Mayo LAG.
The first of its kind in Ireland, the underwater museum would use Irish maritime-themed statues as a diving attraction with the main dive site based off the North Mayo coastline. The new facility would be an innovative tourism product with the potential to attract many visitors to the region.
We would hope to model the project in Killala Bay in a similar way to the Museo Atlantico in Lanzarote. In Lanzarote, they have incorporated Spanish and Mediterranean history. For example, they have an artist’s impression of the ‘Crossing of the Rubicon by Julius Caesar’. It is a striking scene and it is located in shallow water that isn’t too dangerous or deep for beginner divers.
We would hope to incorporate Irish maritime history in a similar way and the whole idea is to attract tourism to northeast Mayo. Mayo is a maritime county with a long rugged coastline and there are features of natural beauty to go and see under the water. The aim of this project is to try and enhance this so even more divers will come here to see artistic interpretative features and statues.
It is important to capitalise on the popularity of Mayo as a location for those who are interested in underwater activities. Divers already come here from the likes of Mullingar, Donegal and Waterford. They drive through Ballina and out to Killala and get on a boat to go diving. This project would be located off Kilcummin Pier so there would be no need for big boats. They would swim out 50 or 60 metres and submerge themselves into this museum. We would hope this has a knock-on effect to boost tourism in the region and, in particular, in the Kilcummin area. While the study has been going well thus far, the project itself is still in its very early stages, but there is plenty of enthusiasm locally.
Links to the newspaper coverage received to date are as follows: