Dingle Oceanworld Aquarium

Company name

Mara Beo Teo, Dingle Oceanworld Aquarium

Location

An Choill, Daingean Uí Chúis, Co. Kerry

Grant

Feasibility study grants, capital grants

Dates

On-going since 1990

Project

Mara Beo Teo, or Oceanworld, in Daingean Uí Chúis is one of the largest aquariums in Ireland. It has a shark tank, a surge tank with anemones and shell fish, a cylindrical tank with tropical fish, an Amazonian tank with catfish, poisonous frogs and deadly piranha; a touch pool where you can stroke the starfish and ray, and an ocean tunnel where fish swim all around you and overhead.

It recently added a penguin exhibit and a Tom Crean exhibit which was officially opened in Easter 2011. It attracts c.100,000 visitors annually and is one of the most complete aquatic tours in the country.

Údarás gave initial support with a feasibility study grant in 1990 and began converting the building – a former VEC school – into a state-of-the-art aquarium in 1994; it also bought shares in the company. The aquarium opened in April 1996 and has added new exhibits every couple of years since then.

Results

Says Kevin Flannery, director secretary of Mara Beo: “This was something I’d wanted to do for a long time. I love weird and wonderful fish. In the 1990s Údarás stepped in and helped us start up. We were a huge tourist attraction from day one, and we’ve just gone from strength to strength. We’ve now bought the building from Údarás.”

Perspective

Mara Beo Teo has set up subsidiaries – a hatchery, and an oyster farm. These companies are commercially independent, and Údarás helped to develop them. See www.dingle-oceanworld.ie