CO MONAGHAN URGED TO “DO A KERRY” IN RELATION TO TOURISM

12 November 2015 No Comments by The Northern Standard

PETER HUGHES

Co Monaghan should have the confidence to attempt to replicate the development of a tourism package equivalent to that established by Co Kerry, Sinn Féin’s Pat Treanor told the November meeting of Monaghan Co Council.

“We do not want to be a Kerry, we are a Monaghan,” Colr Treanor stated. “But some Kerry people obviously decided they had great sights and heritage and sold it as a package throughout the world, and I think we can do the same for Monaghan.”

He was proposing the adoption of the new Co Monaghan Tourism Strategy, the subject of a presentation to the meeting by Co Tourism Officer Dympna Condra.

The new strategy was agreed, and member also supported a proposal by Fianna Fáil representative P J O’Hanlon calling on Minister for Tourism Michael Ring to meet with the Tourism Officer and a Co Council delegation to seek funding for the development of angling resources and other potential visitor attractions in the county.

It was also agreed on the proposal of Hugh McElvaney (Fine Gael) that the future development of St Tiernach’s Park in Clones form part of the agenda for any meeting secured with Minister Ring.

However, a motion by SF’s Colm Carthy advocating the establishment of a new committee to assist organisers of festivals and other tourism events on a voluntary basis was defeated on a show of hands vote when it was put to the meeting.

In her presentation, Ms Condra said the Co Council tourism unit had been involved in a number of development projects, including the completion of three walking trails in Ballybay, along with associated signage and brochures, for which East Border Region funding had been obtained. Support from that source had also assisted enhancing the access and visitor interpretation at Errigal Truagh graveyard. They had made an application to Fáilte Ireland to develop a heritage trail and app at Glaslough village, and to the Dept of Tourism to upgrade walks and signage at Rossmore Forest Park in Monaghan Town.

A brochure had been developed for the ‘Borderlands’ concept, and they had completely revamped the Monaghan tourism website, and now did a lot of updating of it internally from within the unit. They were also updating the Monaghan tourism app for 2016.

Ms Condra said they were successful in getting a number of travel journalists down to the county and worked very closely with the trade on this. The familiarisation trips had resulted in some excellent pieces on Monaghan in various publications, including the Irish Times, Daily Star, Sunday World, Mail on Sunday and the Scottish Sun, with a top ten reasons to visit the county listed on the Irish Independent website, and a favourable mention for Monaghan as a consequence of this on the Pat Kenny radio show. There was a very positive response from this with which the trade was delighted.

Cathaoirleach Noel Keelan (Sinn Féin) said it was good to see that the county was getting some significant national media coverage.

They had a networking trade engagement in Carrickmacross trying to focus on packaging and co-ordination of facilities. Some of the people …

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