Lo­cal group is put­ting Blar­ney truly on the map

The Corkman - - NEWS - MARIA HERLIHY

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.

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