Over 90% representation of the various individual tourism providers in the Thurles & District area turned out on December 5th last, to St Mary’s Famine Museum in Thurles, answering the recent invitation by the Minister of State at the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport Mr Alan Kelly TD, to attend a meeting to discuss the future of tourism in the Thurles area.
The Minister had been anxious to hear from those in attendance, new constructive ideas which could lead to job growth and greater tourism traffic in the Thurles and greater surrounding areas.
As a direct result of what Minister Kelly later described as a “more than a positive and constructive meeting,” it was agreed that an umbrella group, formally non existent in the area, will now be formed using the brand / marketing name “Hidden Tipperary,” to coincide with the recently established website of the same name. It was also agreed that this newly formed group would work closely together, spreading slowly outwards across the county of Tipperary in an effort to attract a larger visitor-ship from both home and abroad, to what all in attendance agreed was the most unknown, unspoiled and tourism friendly region in Ireland.
Amongst those who spoke, contributing from the floor of the meeting were Mr Tom Gallagher (Holycross Tour Guides), Local Thurles Town Councillor Mrs Evelyn Nevin, Mr Liam O’Donoghue & Mr Seamus King (Lár na Páirce), Una Ryan (Marketing Eye), Stewart Willoughby (St Mary’s Famine Museum), together with representatives from Upperchurch, Loughmore and Cabragh Wetland Development Associations and from the vast array of local top class restaurants.
Mr Tom Noone who had kindly agreed to conduct this convened gathering called by the Minister, has now been unanimously selected as the groups first incoming Chairperson. In accepting the post Tom spoke passionately of his lifelong love for Tipperary, its people, its beauty and its strong historical tradition.
The next meeting of the now newly formed Hidden Tipperary Group will take place on Monday January 13th next (2014) at 7:00pm in Lár na Páirce, Slievenamon Road,Thurles at the invitation of Mr Seamus King (Lár na Páirce Chairperson). By this time Minister Kelly is expected to report back on initiatives which he is presently attempting to construct and which he briefly outlined while speaking at this December meeting.
To borrow a phrase from one enthusiastic attendee at this meeting, Mr Tom Gallagher; “If this group gets off the ground Mid Tipperary begins a new dawn.”
In the words of the great Partry, Co Mayo born & Late Monsignor James Horan, parish priest of Knock: “Build it and they will come.”