Naming of Newgrange, Knowth and Dowth in Lonely Planet’s Top 500 World Sites a vote of confidence in Meath tourism

Heritage, Tourism

The news that 6 attractions on the island of Ireland have made it on to the prestigious travel guide Lonely Planet’s list of top 500 ‘must see’ sites globally is great news for Irish tourism – which is really booming again, and great news too for Co. Meath, with Newgrange, Knowth and Dowth featuring on the list alongside the Pyramids, the Great Wall of China, and the Great Barrier Reef.

The World Heritage site of Brú na Bóinne in Meath is placed at 224, and is the highest ranking site in the Republic of Ireland.

On the island of Ireland, the highest entry is the Giant’s Causeway in Antrim at 103. Other sites on the island listed include; the spectacular Cliffs of Moher at 224, with the Titanic Belfast at 424.

Trinity College Dublin, which includes Meath’s iconic Book of Kells is 468th, while Tipperary’s Rock of Cashel squeezes in at number 497.

The description of the Neolithic monuments at Newgrange, Knowth and Dowth as ‘a mind-boggling achievement of prehistoric humankind’ is excellent publicity from the renowned Lonely Planet guide, which is the ‘go to’ publication for global travellers. I know that Meath’s hotels, guesthouses, restaurants, coach operators and tour guides are well equipped to make good use of, and capitalise upon, the growing interest this endorsement will bring.

Minister English urges public to support National Heritage Week

Heritage, Tourism

Some 60 plus local events organised including walk, talks, tours, exhibitions and concerts

I encourage the general public to support the approximately 60 plus local events inMeath to mark National Heritage Week which takes place from the 22nd to the 30th of August 2015.

The programme for Meath, which lists over 60 events locally, is a tribute to the hard work of Meath County Council, countless local community and voluntary groups, local historians, local tour guides, the Heritage Council and the OPW. The best way to thank these people for their work is to check out the extensive programme of events. There is something interesting and worthy of support in every corner of Meath.

As we work to develop our tourism offering in Co. Meath, and place ourselves firmly on the map for this growing industry, it is important for all us to be familiar with what our County has to offer from a heritage, historic and cultural perspective. We have a lot to offer, and we need to keep highlighting that. The excellent programme of local events for National Heritage Week re-inforces and compliments our local offering, and I am happy to endorse it.

For more information go to http://www.heritageweek.ie

Agher Church, Rathmoylan to benefit from €15,000 under the Structures at Risk Fund 2015

Agher, Heritage, Meath, Tourism

agher9

I welcome the news of funding of €15,000 for Agher Church, and salute the work of Cllr. Joe Fox in this regard as Chairman of Trim Municipal District Council. Our beautiful old buildings are one of the many reasons that people come to visit Meath. By supporting best practice in the conservation of our protected structures, we are contributing to the ongoing attraction of our county and our country as a tourist destination of choice.

The poet, political writer, and clergyman Jonathan Swift (1667–1745) was rector of Agher Church at one time.

Welcoming the news Cllr. Joe Fox stated: “I am delighted to receive word from the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Heather Humphreys and local Minister Damien English that Agher Church, Rathmoylan is one of 28 heritage structures across the country that will benefit from a total of €624,000 in funding under the Structures at Risk Fund 2015. Agher Church will receive €15,000. I believe the preservation of heritage structures like Agher Church is very important for our pride of place.”

English welcomes Meath County Council’s €300k commitment to Boyne Valley Greenway

Meath, Navan, Tourism, Transport
Cllr. Eugene Cassidy

Cllr. Eugene Cassidy

I welcome the news that Meath County Council has made a provision of €300,000 in its Capital Budget for the first stage of the Greenway from Navan to Kingscourt, as far as Wilkinstown in this stage.

Fine Gael Councillor in the Kells Electoral Area, Cllr. Eugene Cassidy has shown huge personal commitment to this project over a number of years, and played a key lobbying and networking role between Meath County Council, other local and national agencies, as well as local businesses and stakeholders/property owners. Today’s allocation of €300,000 for the first stage of the Navan to Kingscourt project is a good start and a vindication of the work undertaken over the past few years.

Walking and cycling are hugely important to our health, both physical and mental. They are also key growth activities in the tourism sector. This Greenway will significantly add to the exciting tourism offering of Meath, and help in the battle to ensure that Meath gets its fair share of the tourism market nationally which is expected to grow to €5 Billion and 250,000 jobs for the economy by 2020” the Minister said.

I am happy to play my role in Government lobbying the Department of Transport and Tourism to give its backing to this incredibly well advanced and researched project, which now has the benefit of considerable local funding also.

New tourism policy will benefit Meath – English

Food, Heritage, Tourism

Local Meath Minister Damien English T.D. has welcomed the launch of the Government’s new tourism policy, ‘People, Place and Policy – Growing Tourism to 2025’, saying it will benefit tourism in Co. Meath.

“The new tourism policy statement launched last week by Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Paschal Donohoe, targets €5 billion in revenue from 10 million overseas visits by 2025. This is great news for counties like Meath which have a lot to offer to tourists and depend so much on the sector” stated the Minister for Skills, Research and Innovation.

“Located next door to Dublin – the largest entry point into Ireland – Meath has significant potential to grow and attract even more visitor numbers and revenue. We have a list of world renowned heritage sites at Newgrange, Knowth, Dowth and Loughcrew, and newer tourism attractions like Tayto Park, Rathbeggan Lakes to name but a few of many.
“The new target for Irish tourism would enable employment in the sector to rise to 250,000 jobs. Meath must and can fight for its fair share of these jobs. The Government is committed to tourism growth as part of its plan to spread the economic recovery to all regions of Ireland, and Meath can really benefit from this.

“The Tourism Policy Statement has three headline targets, to be achieved by 2025:

o Revenue from overseas tourism, in real terms and excluding air fares and ferry charges, will grow to €5 billion per year in 2025 from €3.5 billion in 2014;
o 250,000 people will be employed in tourism, compared with an estimated 200,000 at present; and
o We will grow overseas visits to Ireland to 10 million (from 7.6 million in 2014).

“In Meath we have the Castles and Fortresses, we have the examples of early Christian Ireland, we have the Gardens and Historic Houses and the Battlesites. And here in Meath we have top quality hotels, restaurants, artisan food producrs and great golf courses too. There is so much to offer tourists in Meath. We need to talk about it more and get out there and sell it, and we will be well placed to benefit from this ambitious new ten year tourism policy.”