Writes Leo McMahon
‘The possibilities are incredible’, said Cllr Eoghan Jeffers (SF) whose motion calling on Cork County Council to draw up a tourism strategy for South Cork (Carrigaline, Passage West, Monkstown and the Lower Harbour), was unanimously adopted at the monthly meeting of Carrigaline-Ballincollig Municipal District (MD). ‘There is so much to offer and the area has huge potential,’ he stated and suggested specific programmes be drawn up including provision of sites for camper vans/motor homes in the MD. Cllr Michael Frick Murphy (SF) seconded saying there were great openings for tourism in the Passage West area. Other members spoke in support. MD officer Kevin O’Regan suggested the director of the council’s tourism directorate be invited to a meeting. This was agreed. In previous years, there was an Owenabue Valley Tourism Group and currently some of the area is promoted by Ring of Cork based in Midleton.
Ring Of Cork Group Visit Passage And Carrigaline
Tourism and business members of Ring of Cork (RoC) recently visited Passage West Maritime Museum and later networked at Carrigaline Court Hotel as part of the organisation’s ongoing work to promote tourism and support the local economy and jobs in the Greater Cork area. Led by Elga Ryan of South and East Cork Area Development (SECAD) and RoC, they were given a tour and lecture at the museum by one of its founders, Jim Murphy, local historian and former town councillor.
Refreshments were provided on arrival by museum members Claire Kenneally and Patricia Lydon in the adjoining Passage Association for the Care of the Eldlerly (PACE) Centre where RoC members were also greeted by museum volunteers Angela Murphy, Joe Healy, Martin Collins, Walty Murphy, Maire Corr, Don O’Sullivan and Leo McMahon.
The next stop was Carrigaline Court Hotel where there was a warm welcome and hospitality in the Collins Bar from staff and a summary of the ongoing major €3 million plus refurbishment including bedrooms, meeting rooms, leisure centre and reception was given by sales and marketing manager Fiona O’Donoghue.
She said the hotel and leisure centre celebrated its 20th anniversary in November and is busy year-round for midweek corporate and mainly weekend leisure business. Tourism Ireland was focusing more on secondary tourism locations such as Carrigaline and Lower Cork Harbour which include attractions such as Camden Fort Meagher, Crosshaven, Passage West Maritime Museum and the soon to open Haulbowline Park as well as the hotel itself which carries literature for places to visit in the RoC area.
The group from RoC for the trip to the maritime museum and hotel comprised: Sean Bosma, Paddy Whitty and Valerie Morgan, Cobh Museum; Karen Mulcahy, Youghal Clock Gate Tower; Trish Harris, Ocean Escapes, Cork Harbour; Maire Murphy, An Stor Townhouse, Midleton; Tom O Neill, Spike Island; Tom Leahy, CastleFarm B&B, Youghal; Noel Costello, SECAD and Mary McCaffrey, Print Profile, Midleton as well as Fiona who visited the museum.
RoC is made up of Cork’s best tourism activities, attractions, restaurants, bars, and accommodation providers. It connects tourism businesses across the region and equips them with the tools and skills to boost business and in turn, support local jobs and the local economy. ‘These familiarisation trips are informal and fun days away from the office, where the focus is on networking,’ Elga told The Carrigdhoun. ‘RoC provides the opportunity for owners and managers as well as front of house staff experience other attractions, gain knowledge, create linkages, promote other businesses and ultimately encourage tourists to stay in the region for longer.
Visits for 2019 include Passage West Maritime Museum, Zip It in Farran Woods, Inch Hideaway and Leahy’s Open Farm’s Chocolate Factory. Anybody wishing to get involved and join RoC should email email@example.com, tel 021 4613432 or visit www.ringofcork.ie.
RoC has a free heritage trail map and Elga said that when updated for 2019, the new maritime museum, which officially opened last year, will feature.
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