The newly appointed British Ambassador to Ireland, Dominick Chilcott, is to visit Cashel this coming Friday, the 18th of May, following an invitation from South Tipperary Fine Gael T.D. Tom Hayes. Deputy Hayes issued the invitation to commemorate last year’s visit to the town by Queen Elizabeth.
“I am delighted that the Ambassador has accepted my invitation to visit the town almost a year on from the Queen’s visit to the Rock of Cashel. That day was obviously a huge occasion for the town and I think it is important to acknowledge that event in some way.
“I issued the invitation to acknowledge the historic occasion that was the Queen’s visit. Not only was her state visit important for our relationship with the UK, but it was pivotal in boosting tourism numbers to Ireland. At the Rock of Cashel alone we have seen a huge increase in British visitors to the site since the visit, with numbers in 2011 greatly exceeding those in 2010.
“Ireland saw a 5.2% increase in British tourists alone last year. That’s over 140,000 more British people spending and sightseeing in Ireland. I have no doubt that the main reason for this substantial increase was the state visit itself.
“It’s important that we continue to promote Cashel, and Co. Tipperary, as a top destination for any British visitor to Ireland. I believe that this visit from the new British Ambassador, on the anniversary of the Queen’s visit, is the perfect way to mark the occasion and will provide us with another opportunity to show what Tipperary has to offer.
“We are currently in the process of agreeing an itinerary with the British Embassy but I expect that the Ambassador’s visit will involve a brief tour of the Rock as well as the town itself,” says Tom Hayes.