Local group is putting Blarney truly on the map
A PRESENTATION by members of Brand Blarney received widespread praise and approval by councillors at the Blarney Macroom municipal district meeting.
Deborah Maguire, chairperson of Brand Blarney and Noreen O’Connell spoke on a host of topics such as launching a very detailed heritage map to hoping to finalise funding to getting a mobile website up and running.
Brand Blarney is a new group which has been set up to promote tourism in the region and equally so to involve the community.
“There is huge opportunity in Blarney such as GAA experience, ghost trails and food trails. We are working with all the locals,” said Deborah Maguire.
She also said that their heritage day launch was a tremendous success in the 250 year old village.
When asked on the possibility of developing an app, Noreen O’Connell said from their research, tourists tended not to download apps as it took up space on their phone and so a mobile website is instead a far better way to go.
Cllr Des O’Grady (SF) said that in times past there were 24 B&Bs in Blarney but now that is whittled down to 10.
Deborah Maguire agreed and said “far more bed spaces” are needed in Cork. She said if every tourist stayed one extra night it would bolster the economy by €30 million.
Cllr Michael Creed (FG) said that while tourists went from Blarney to Killarney and vice versa, they only stayed a few hours and left again. He felt it was important that tourists stayed in the region and asked Ms O’Connell about sourcing funding for some of their projects.
She said while they got help from Cork County Council to print their revamped and updated map, funding has always been their biggest issue.
Cllr Bob Ryan (FF) said the issue of the lack of beds was certainly a big issue in Cork. However, he did not that five hotels in Cork are in the process of various stages of planning.
“What is clear is that we need to assist Brand Blarney and the excellent work which they are doing,” he said.
Ms O’Connell further explained that they are linked with Ireland Reaching Out, a website which connects Irish people with their place of origin.
Cllr Ted Lucey (FG) said Brand Blarney should be helped to get funding.
Chairing the meeting, Cllr Kevin Conway (Ind) said that a meeting to discuss trying to help Brand Blarney should be put on the agenda, which was unanimously agreed by fellow councillors.