LABOUR councillor and chair of Nenagh Rail Partnership Virginia O’Dowd has urged all those interested in tourism and maintaining and improving the Ballybrophy rail line to come along to the group’s seminar in the Abbey Court Hotel this weekend.
The programme for the seminar, called Reviving Rural Rail, is:
Friday: registration 6pm-8pm
8pm: Official opening, Alan Kelly, Junior Minister for Public and Commuter Transport
8.15pm: Conference dinner, Don Cunningham, director, new works, Irish Rail, keynote speaker after dinner.
Saturday: registration 9.30am-10am
10am: Dr Paul Salveson. Dr Salveson established the Association of Community Rail Partnerships in the UK in the mid-1990s and helped formulate the Community Rail Development Strategy supported by the UK Government and rail industry. He is active in many community organisations, including the Penistone Line Partnership, which he set up in 1993.
11am-11.20am: Joe McGrath, North Tipperary county manager: The Importance of the Ballybrophy Line to the Infrastructure in the Region
11.25am-11.45: Lorraine Grainger, Tourism consultant, Towards Sustainable Rural Tourism. Lorraine’s career in tourism and travel spans some 25 years. With roots in tourism product development, working with small tourism enterprises in the Shannon Region, she has worked abroad in destination marketing, aviation marketing and e-travel. In Ireland, she set up her own tourism consultancy business. She works with destinations, communities and with small tourism suppliers and has been selected as one of the overseas sales advisors for Failte Ireland’s new Sales Connect programme - a support tool to assist tourism providers win new business in overseas markets.
11.45am-12.05pm: Jim Deegan, manager, Rail Tours Ireland: The Authentic Ireland Experience Through Rail Travel
12.10pm-12.30pm: John G O’Dwyer, travel writer: Developing Loop Walks and Cycle Routes from Station to Station
Lunch: 1.30pm: Rail Tours Ireland bus trip to Castleconnell via Dromineer, Portroe, Ballina / Killaloe and O’Brien’s Bridge. At Castleconnell, there will be a fly-fishing demonstration with Pat O’Connor, chairman, Castleconnell Fisheries Group. There will be a chance to have a pint in Paddy Guerin’s old world fishing bar.
5pm: return to Nenagh by train from Castleconnell
Sunday: 10am: one-hour historical walk around Nenagh or tour of the Cloughjordan Ecovillage (both to be booked by 6pm on Saturday).
For further details, contact: Cllr Virginia O’Dowd, chair, Nenagh Rail Partnership; ph: 086-8185520 or Dr Duncan Martin, treasurer, ph: 086-8377906.