Recently, the North Clare town of Lisdoonvarna received a welcome visitor: Francis Brennan from the luxury Park Hotel in Kenmare, Co. Kerry, came to Clare to lend a helping hand in breathing new life into one of the great assets of the town.
Francis Brennan is known from an RTE documentary called "At Your Service" in which he helps struggling hospitality businesses to get back on their feet.
In this case, he came to the spa wells and pump house in Lisdoonvarna which is the only spa town in Ireland featuring sulphur and iron-rich waters which come out of the Clare shale in the ravines of the town. The pump house and adjoining buildings have mostly been unused for the last 10 or more years, and the community of Lisdoonvarna is anxious to keep the heritage going and restore what the locals refer to as "the wells" to their former glory. And above all, use it again by making it accessible for the public, and give it a purpose.
So Francis Brennan has come to town a few times already to get his bearings and talk to the steering committees. Then he came up with a plan... All will be revealed later, so stay tuned. Let's just say that it involves hospitality.
Oh, and for Heritage Week starting on 19th August, lots of events are scheduled to take place in different locations in Lisdoonvarna, also at the Spa Wells of course. For example, there will be a market with local producers on the Sunday 20 August!