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Tourism Providers Insist Map Of Thurles Be Destroyed

So you hope that your third level student son or daughter, may pick up a few hours work during this summer season, that’s  if “The Gathering 2013” takes off. Sorry to disillusion you folks but if you believe the latter then truly you need to read the full text hereunder, at least twice.

Our beloved Taoiseach has gone to the United States begging, well I suppose maybe begging is a bit too strong a word, he has gone to remind American investors that Ireland is still open for business. Our Enda of Times Magazine fame will address international key business people, you know the sort I mean, the equivalent of our Johnny Ronan, Richard Barrett, Sean Quinn and Sean FitzPatrick, latter who once boasted of having a large team of professional and dynamic employees, who make key decisions on a day to day basis, across a range of disciplines including: Health Insurance, Finance and  Construction.

Enda will be visiting Philadelphia and Cleveland, speaking at a number of engagements, casually meeting with representatives of Irish communities in both cities, thus further promoting this animal called ‘The Gathering 2013.

Powerful I hear you say, in rather apathetic rural tones, residing as you do in Thurles “The town that tourism forgot.

But my first hurried thoughts when I read this were “Has anyone got Enda Kenny’s mobile phone number, in a hurry to warn him” but then I thought “Stop the panic George, sure Noel Coonan or Allen Kelly are on the ball, and will have, by now, contacted Enda before he embarrasses them & Tipperary.

” Of course, as you have probably guessed, I’m talking about the so called Thurles Tourism Map shown hereunder.”

Ok, so what’s the problem with this new Thurles tourism map, I hear you yell ?”  “Hold your whist a moment,” I now reply, “First we need someone to blame, so (A) Who printed this damned map and (B) and what halfwit idiot did they consult ?”  Answer:- (A) Shannon Region Tourism and (B) No native of Thurles Town, was ever consulted that’s for sure.

When you view the map surely the immortal words of Blackadder (alias actor Rowan Atkinson,) will spring to mind : “Oh, God. Fortune vomits on our eiderdown one more time,” or maybe his phrase, “The eyes are open, the mouth moves, but Mr Brain has long since departed,” might be more appropriate.

This new map crawled in underneath an unguarded Thurles radar, just as our Local Town Councillors moved into their monthly Monday late night session debate. They were arguing mainly, as they always do, attempting to ensure that Councillor Seamus Hannifin would not get his rightful credit for fore-fronting the new Tipperary / Thurles Enterprise Centre.  (Well done Seamus, your efforts are noted.)

Well, if it wasn’t that incident, it had to be the scramble by same local councillors to vote for themselves, to pick up some handy expenses available for ‘sitting,’ on the Board of Leader. (Just between you & me and keep this to yourselves, Der Fuhrer Hogan, whispered to me recently regarding Local Councillors, “Sure I’ll talk to that lot next week.We were trying to avoid some of his angry booing local constituents at the time.)

Seriously, what is wrong with this Shannon Region Tourism Map.

Nothing I suppose, if Cabragh Wetlands are prepared to dig up it’s property and move it from the Yellow Lough to the Holycross road in Thurles, as this so called ‘Tourism Map,’ indicates will happen. This latter attraction in the past has received national recognition through awards from Henry Ford European Conservation, AIB Better Ireland and the ESB Conservation Volunteers Awards Schemes. Since 1993, a small group of dedicated volunteers have saved a vast area of wetland wildlife habitats, building a visitor-cum-education centre, assisted by a 50% grant from LEADER programming and now Shannon Development & Shannon Region Tourism do not now know where this attraction resides. On this map this attraction is not referenced as having a high grade visitor centre, is staffed daily for visitor needs, is operating a programme of daily activities, has regular visits by world class environmental speakers and is nationally described as a beacon of biodiversity when it comes to the education of children and adults.

Speaking to Miss Catherine Fogarty, Secretary/PRO of the newly formed Thurles Marketing Forum, she states: – “This Tourism Map, produced by Shannon Development, is actually damaging from a Thurles visitor perception / perspective and should be now withdrawn immediately and replaced, following consultation with the town.

She logically points out that each location identified on this Map should have Website Addresses / Contact Numbers / Email Addresses provided underneath each attraction. “I feel the positives of Thurles could have been further promoted by introducing corners on the map featuring possibly our involvement with Thurles European Town of Sport, Local Festivals, Children’s Attractions, Museums and of course Tipperary quality Food Producers,” she stated.

No reference has been made to our websites like Thurles.ie, Thurles.Info, Hidden Tipperary, Tipperary, Famine Museum or any of our local Hotels, B&B’s or Entertainment / Theatre websites. Our local cinema & only one of our very fine Thurles Restaurants do get a mention, but again without any contact details whatsoever.

Museums like Lar na Pairce & Thurles Famine & War Museum are not properly highlighted, as indeed are the guided Tours at Holycross Abbey.  Other omissions include images of (a) Interior of GAA Museum, (b) Interior of Famine Museum, (c) Farney Castle, (d) Cabragh Wetlands, (e) Doire Bhille Loop Walk and (f) the many Equestrian Activities in the area. What is easily identified however is how to exit the town quickly, e.g. Icon no 10 is marked ‘The road to Horse and Jockey, Cashel, Dublin and Cork.

When observing this map, insult is added to injury, with four large photographic images advertising Counties Clare  &  Limerick, while only two images advertise Thurles Co Tipperary concerns, and a further two of the images are not even in the Shannon Region.

Be assured the following statement is not a joke or indeed my attempts at humour. Yesterday I called the Limerick Tourist Information Office, asking could they supply me with a tourism map of Thurles. They checked and came back to inform me that “They do not have a map in stock, presently as they do not get many enquiries from visitors, wishing to visit Thurles.”

Did Shannon Development or Shannon Tourism make any call for input into the production of the map? If they did they should now state by whom this information was provided. The map makes no reference whatsoever to the towns Tourist Information Point address, other than their iconic i symbol, positioned at the corner of Liberty Square.

One further issue, regarding this map, must surely be the paper quality used in its printing. Truthfully it is manufactured from double A4 bog standard letter paper, with one side left totally blank.

Meanwhile in a recent press release:

Fine Gael TD for Tipperary North/South Offaly Noel Coonan, has urged local people right across Offaly and Tipperary to get on board for The Gathering and start thinking about how they can be involved in the biggest tourism initiative this country has ever seen.
The Gathering, as announced by the Minister for Tourism, Leo Varadkar, will be a year-long programme of events in 2013 aimed at showcasing the best that Ireland has to offer. While major festivals will play a huge role, there will also be a focus on gatherings organised by local community groups and organisations. And that’s why I’m calling on people in the locality to get involved,” said Deputy Coonan.

We have been involved Noel, but you and Allan Kelly have sat quietly back sleeping, as massive tourist funding flowed from the taxpayers of North Tipperary, to Ireland’s coast line, namely Dublin, Galway, Waterford, Cork & Killarney etc.

One can only hope that Enda Kenny now doesn’t attempt to distribute this latest Thurles Shannon Tourism Map, during his current American walk about. The embarrassment for Thurles and its public representatives would be just too hard to handle.

Finally see Halloween Festivals in the Shannon Region, see if you can spot Thurles Halloween Festival mentioned.

We are on our own folks, drifting slowly down stream, without the benefit of sail or oar.

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3 comments to Tourism Providers Insist Map Of Thurles Be Destroyed

  • Was there money paid to someone to make this map? Maybe it was a child in junior infants.

  • Chris

    Its not great but given that Shannon Development has almost gave up on Thurles since the late 1990’s what else can we expect from them. It has to be a voluntary effort. You know I bet the person who designed that map just Googled info on Thurles.

  • Chris

    Also George where did you get this brochure? thanks

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