‘Unity of purpose’ at South Armagh Tourism meeting | Newry News Today | Latest Newry News, Newry Sport and Newry Business for Newry City

‘Unity of purpose’ at South Armagh Tourism meeting | Newry News Today

A public meeting in Forkhill on the future of South Armagh Tourism has secured unanimous support for an overhaul of Newry, Mourne and Down District Council’s proposed tourism strategy.

 

Unity of purpose at South Armagh Tourism meeting | Newry News Today - newry news now

 

There were passionate pleas from tourism providers in attendance for a concerted effort to protect the identity of South Armagh and ensure that it is proudly and prominently represented in the District’s tourism strategy and associated branding.

Speaking after the event, meeting Chair Killian Feehan says, “The passion on display at tonight’s meeting was hugely emboldening.

“People in South Armagh have huge pride in where we come from.

“And that is why we in the SDLP called this meeting – to afford people the chance to be heard and to secure political consensus so that we are all rowing in the same direction.

“Through a combination of outstanding natural beauty, incredible heritage, as well as the sheer grit and determination of our local tourism providers and the wider community, we have an authentic, vibrant, and compelling tourism product in this area, that can and should be competing on the international stage.

“The SDLP is determined to drive and support the continued growth of the South Armagh tourism industry.

“And we have set out our stall on how that can be done: by ensuring that South Armagh is at the heart of the Council’s tourism strategy, and by expanding Ireland’s Ancient East tourism destination to include counties Armagh and Down.”

 


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SDLP Slieve Gullion Councillor Pete Byrne says, “To date, the process for securing inclusion within the Council’s tourism strategy has been frustrating.

“Council have been intransigent, divisive, and dismissive.

“They’ve promised everything and delivered nothing.

“South Armagh tourism providers have provided comprehensive input throughout the consultation process, yet not a single part of that feedback has been reflected in the draft strategy.

“Bizarrely, the Council have now decided to have a third consultation session and the very simple question that has to be asked is: why?

“South Armagh tourism providers have already made it crystal clear what is required, and that was clarified again at the public meeting.

“That South Armagh should be included and represented in the Council’s tourism strategy, that the destination name and the Council’s tourism branding and marketing should be inclusive of our area, and that South Armagh should not be branded or represented as ‘Visit Mourne’.

“These requests are clear, and they are actionable.

“I am glad that we now have political agreement on this issue, and that we have been able to build consensus among fellow Slieve Gullion Councillors.

“For Council to seek to relegate South Armagh to a status of secondary significance is unacceptable.

“This has been at the crux of the SDLP’s campaign – we are not looking for special treatment or a leg up above everyone else, but we know our worth and we want parity of esteem and a fair crack of the whip.

“The takeaway message from the public meeting was clear: ‘we’re not complaining, we’re advocating.’

“We have identified a series of roadblocks that are preventing South Armagh tourism from moving to the next level.

“Council has refused to remove them, but now that we have received a commitment from all political representatives in South Armagh to put party politics aside and put our people first, we have the political strength to overcome them. \

He adds, “I will be holding those other political parties to their commitment, and ensure that they honour their word.” 

 


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Posted by on Dec 2 2022. Filed under Community, Politics. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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