Nenagh Tourist Office opening in June is ‘too late’

Cllr Phyll Bugler
There have been calls to open Nenagh’s tourist office earlier in the season. The office at Banba Square opened last Thursday, with local councillors expressing their concern that it was not open earlier in the year

There have been calls to open Nenagh’s tourist office earlier in the season. The office at Banba Square opened last Thursday, with local councillors expressing their concern that it was not open earlier in the year

“In the last few weeks I have spotted tourists standing around scratching their heads,” Cllr Seamus Morris told the June meeting of Nenagh Municipal District Council.

He said he had met US tourists looking for the tourist office and had also come across a bus tour from Ulster Bus trying to get into the gatehouse at Nenagh Heritage Centre. Cllr Morris stated that the group had pre-booked a tour but the gatehouse was closed.

“Summer doesn’t start in the middle of June,” he said. “We need the tourist office to be open all year round. We have a growing tourism business in Nenagh.”

He was supported by Cllr Phyll Bugler who said: “It is way too late. We need the office to be open at Easter.”

Cllr Joe Hannigan also agreed the June 18 date was too late in the season.

District administrator Rosemary Joyce laid at the blame at Failte Ireland’s door, saying: “We don’t control it.”

She revealed the council had written to Bord Failte back in April about the issue and that it took “a lot of hard work” to keep the town’s tourist office open.

Ms Joyce pointed out that Bord Failte had advertised for staff for the office in the local media.

She said that out-of-season, the council had agreed that tourism information would be given through Nenagh Arts Centre, which is next door to the tourist office.

Ms Joyce rejected Cllr Morris’s claims that any tour group had pre-booked a visit to the gatehouse, saying no record could be found of any pre-booked group.

She said that Nora O’Meara the genealogist at Nenagh Genealogy Centre, often went beyond her brief to look after Nenagh Heritage Centre as the centre was “totally understaffed”. However, it was proposed to appoint some interns for the summer before the end of June.

Nenagh Tourist Office will remain open until the end of August.