Month: March 2017

Limerick to be linked with the Wild Atlantic Way thanks to a new tourism strategy

Added March 29th, 2017

Fine Gael TD for Limerick and Minister of State for Tourism and Sport, Patrick O’ Donovan, said Limerick will be linked with the Wild Atlantic Way thanks to a new tourism strategy. It is hoped that the strategy will attract over a million visitors and generate €300 million to the local economy.
Minister of State O’Donovan said: “We are delighted to introduce the Limerick Tourism Statement of Strategy. Tourism is a vital contributor to Limerick’s economy and this strategy will provide a roadmap for tourism development in Limerick City and County over the next five years.
“I am delighted to announce that Fáilte Ireland will examine, as part of the Wild Atlantic Way strategy for 2015-2019, the development of a series of loops off the Wild Atlantic Way to encourage greater spread of visitors, alleviate pressure from high traffic areas and present complementary visitor experiences.
“Fáilte Ireland will identify opportunities to present the region’s cultural and sporting heritage to visitors, in line with key strategic areas such as the Wild Atlantic Way and Business Tourism and Events.

He continued: “At present there are 709,000 combined overseas and domestic visitors to Limerick annually generating €206 million in revenue for the local economy.
“Tourism is a large employment sector in Limerick with approximately 8,000 people employed in over 850 enterprises in the tourism industry.
“The aim of this Tourism Strategy is to consistently grow annual tourism visitor numbers to over one million for Limerick and increase visitor revenue to over €300 million per annum.

“We want to make Limerick a ‘must-visit’ destination for both domestic and international visitors.  We look forward to the implementation of the strategy in the coming years which will maximise Limerick’s potential as a tourism destination, thereby supporting job creation, investment opportunities, and economic growth.
“Overall, this strategy statement will enable us to connect to national brands, increase visitor stay, address seasonality issues, work with Shannon Airport and all tourism trade partners on marketing channels, develop new tourism products, deliver new festival and events, and help Limerick to exploit all its tourism assets, especially the River Shannon.
“Other initiatives will include enhancing the existing Great Southern Trail by extending the Greenway from Rathkeale to Ballinagrane”.



My week in the Dáil

Added March 27th, 2017

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My week in the Dáil

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Limerick Minister represents Ireland in New Zealand and Australia for St Patrick’s Day

Added March 21st, 2017

Limerick Minister represents Ireland in New Zealand and Australia for St Patrick’s Day
Limerick TD and Minister of State for Tourism and Sport, Patrick O’Donovan represented the Government at last week’s St. Patrick’s Day festivities in Australia and New Zealand which included visits to the New Zealand and Australian Rugby Unions where he outlined Ireland’s bid for the Rugby World Cup 2023. Patrick O’Donovan also visited a number of Irish Centres, spoke at trade events, met Australian and New Zealand tour operators and engaged with Irish Companies seeking to win business in Australia and New Zealand and companies from there looking for opportunities in Europe.
Patrick O’Donovan travelled to Auckland, Wellington, Melbourne, Canberra, Brisbane and Sydney to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. He visited four Irish centres where he met people from across the island of Ireland, some of whom travelled from home over sixty five years ago. He spoke at a number of events and welcomed Irish people of all ages to the Irish Embassy in Canberra and the Consulate in Sydney where he spoke of the important cultural, historic and economic links between the two countries. In Brisbane he met with the Deputy Prime Minister of the State of Queensland at a celebration of St Patrick’s Day which is now almost one hundred and twenty years old.
“This St. Patrick’s Day trip also gave me the opportunity to talk to representatives of rugby in Australia and New Zealand through our bid for 2023, and show clearly the Government’s commitment to it. I also learned of how New Zealand managed the tournament when they had it, and how the organisers of the tournament interacted with the New Zealand Government. There are a lot of similarities between Ireland and New Zealand and I used the opportunities when I met the country’s sports Minister and New Zealand High Performance our equivalent of Sport Ireland, to get an insight into their international sporting achievements particularly in the Olympics.”
In New Zealand Minister O’Donovan met representatives of GAA Clubs from Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and other cities in the country where he heard first-hand how the games were developing. He also met representatives of Auckland Rugby in Eden Park, the national stadium for New Zealand Rugby.
In Auckland, Wellington and Sydney Patrick O’Donovan met a range of tour operators and airlines operating in both countries with Tourism Ireland in. He discussed opportunities for Australian and New Zealand tourists visiting Ireland with over one hundred and fifty representatives and highlighted the increased air access to Ireland from both countries through the Middle East. Patrick O’Donovan in his role as Minister for Tourism also attended “greening” events where famous buildings were lit up in green in honour of St. Patrick’s Day in Auckland, Wellington, Sydney, Canberra and Brisbane.
Minister O’Donovan also represented the Government at Enterprise Ireland functions in both countries with up to five hundred people attending functions, including Melbourne, where he spoke on the improvement in the Irish economy, the opportunities for investment and Brexit. The largest gathering took place in Sydney where he was guest of honour at a function with over one thousand six hundred people in attendance including the Prime Minister of the State of New South Wales. He was also present for the launch of a new Irish product on to the Australian market and witnessed the signing of agreements between Irish companies and customers in Melbourne and Auckland.
“This visit to New Zealand and Australia was of huge importance, not only in terms of celebrating St Patrick’s Day, but also it gave an opportunity to me, on behalf of the Government, to provide details on a number of key points which as a country we are anxious to make. While my schedule was busy, I used every opportunity given to push the case for Ireland and to deepen the relationship between us and Australia and New Zealand. We have a long and proud links to both countries, and it was an honour and a privilege to represent Ireland there for St Patrick’s Day.”


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    Delighted to represent the Government @merrionstreet at today’s official commemoration of the centenary of the rescue of Seán Hogan in #Knocklong and unveil a new interpretive panel to mark the event…

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