Lough Derg Blueway capacity building workshops

Lough Derg Blueway capacity building workshops


Photo: © Pat Flynn 2017

A series of capacity building workshops will be held during the coming weeks in relation to the Lough Derg Blueway, a proposed multi-activity recreational trail linking Lough Derg’s outdoor recreation, dining, accommodation, cultural and craft experiences.

Managed by a Steering Committee comprising the Lough Derg Marketing Group, Clare County Council, Tipperary County Council and Waterways Ireland, the Blueway aims to build on the existing tourism and recreational infrastructure as well as improve economic activity surrounding the Blueway on Lough Derg by working with communities in the towns and villages in its hinterland.

The upcoming capacity building workshops will take place in The Killaloe Hotel, Kincora Harbour, Killaloe/Ballina at 7.00 p.m. on Monday 24th April; Nenagh Arts Centre, Town Hall, Banba Square, Nenagh, at 7.00 p.m. on Tuesday 25th April, Irish Workhouse Centre, St Bridget’s Road, Portumna, at 7:30 pm on Thursday 27th April and at Mountshannon Hotel, Main St, Glin, Mountshannon, at 7.00 p.m. on Tuesday 2nd May.

The workshops are free. However, intending participants should advise the organisers as to which venue they are attending as spaces are limited.  Contact should be by email to humphrey@ilc.ie  or phone/SMS to 086 2659276.  Visit the News & Events section of www.bluewaysireland.org for additional information.

“These workshops represent the first stage in the REDZ funded Lough Derg Blueway development. They are an opportunity for the community, tourism and activity service providers in the area to identify the potential of the Blueway for their businesses and communities and also an opportunity for them to shape its future direction and promotion,” explained Pat Dowling, Chief Executive, Clare County Council.

“The workshops will be followed by marketing development activities which promote the Lough Derg experience and destination, including a series of themed activity, food, craft, culture and heritage trail maps and activity, dining and accommodation bundles,” he added.

The Department Of Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural & Gaeltacht Affairs recently allocated €200,000 under the Rural Economic Development Zones (REDZ) initiative for the marketing, development and promotion of theLough Derg Blueway.

The Lough Derg Blueway communities and service provider locations include, but are not limited to, Ballina, Castlelough, Coolbawn, Dromineer, Garrykennedy, Kilbarron, Kilgarvan, Killaloe, Mountshannon, Nenagh, OGonnolloe, Portumna, Rossmore, Scarriff, Terryglass, Two Mile Gate, Whitegate.

Leonard Cleary, Director of Services, Rural Development, Clare County Council, said the Lough Derg Blueway will benefit the local economies in lakeside towns and villages and enhance local tourism employment/entrepreneurship.

“Blueways have been developed on a number of inland and coastal waterways in Ireland and they encourage and make it possible for local people or visitors with little or no experience to take part in water-sports.  The Lough Derg Blueway provides an opportunity to showcase the Lough Derg area, increase the recreational use of the lake by residents and visitors, generate additional tourism into the area and add value to the existing tourism services in the area,” said Mr. Cleary.

Chief Reporter Pat Flynn has worked as a journalist for almost 30 years. His career began during the late 1980s when, like many aspiring radio presenters of the time, he worked for local pirate radio stations in Clare and Limerick. Pat joined Clare FM in 1990 where he worked as researcher initially and later presented several different programmes including the station's flagship current affairs programme. He was also the station's News Editor and Deputy Controller of Programmes. Despite leaving in 2003 to pursue a career as a freelance journalist, he continues to work with the station to this day. As well as being the Clare Herald’s Chief Reporter Pat is also freelance journalist and broadcaster, contributing to Ireland’s national newspapers and is a regular contributor to national broadcasters.