Irish Sea Way could emulate the success of the Wild Atlantic Way
A proposed tourism trail from Carlingford Lough to Cobh will have huge economic potential for Ireland’s tourism sector and will benefit towns and villages along the East and South-East coasts.
Nineteen Fine Gael TDs, Senators and MEPs said the Irish Sea Way could have the same level of success that the Wild Atlantic Way has had in attracting huge visitor numbers to the West Coast of Ireland.
Fine Gael representatives based in constituencies along the East and South-East coast have voiced their support for the proposed tourism trail, which is contained in the Programme for Government.
The nineteen are: Ministers, Simon Harris, Paschal Donohoe, Richard Bruton, Paul Kehoe, Eoghan Murphy, Helen McEntee, Michael D’Arcy, David Stanton; Deputies, Jennifer Carroll MacNeill, Alan Farrell, Fergus O’Dowd; Senators, John McGahon, John Cummins, Barry Ward; and party MEPs, Mairead McGuinness, Frances Fitzgerald, Seán Kelly, Deirdre Clune and Maria Walsh.
The group said, “The Programme for Government contains a commitment to initiate a consultation process with communities along the coastline from Carlingford Lough in Louth to Cobh in Cork with a view to creating the Irish Sea Way to boost tourism in those regions.
“As an island nation, we are hugely dependent on our tourism sector and the need for infrastructure which enhances our unspoilt landscape while at the same time protecting our rich biodiversity and environment.
“Tourism is one of Ireland’s most important economic sectors and its significance as a source of employment and regional development cannot be understated. That is why an ambitious project such as the Irish Sea Way would be hugely beneficial to our economy and communities.
“The Wild Atlantic Way has become a world-renowned tourist attraction since it was launched in 2014. Counties along the West Coast have made significant gains from international marketing drives and social media campaigns to promote the tourism initiative.
“Well-known beauty spots along the proposed new trail that could benefit further include Carlingford Lough in Louth, the coastal communities of Howth, Malahide and Dún Laoghaire in Dublin, Greystones and Brittas Bay in Wicklow, the coastal villages of Dunmore East and Ardmore and the stunning Copper Coast in Waterford.
“Other scenic locations along the route include Bettystown and Laytown in Meath, the blue Flag beaches of Courtown, Morriscastle, Rosslare, Ballinesker, and Curracloe in Wexford and the idyllic towns of Cobh and Youghal in Cork.
“A project such as the Irish Sea Way has the potential to further promote these towns and villages as tourist destinations to the betterment of local communities.
“If the Programme for Government is approved, Fine Gael is committed to ensuring that tourism is placed at the centre of our National Economic plan as we focus on rebuilding the sector which has been impacted negatively by Covid-19.
“The Tourism Recovery Taskforce, which was recently established by this Government, has already started its work as we deal with the consequences of the pandemic and restore jobs in the industry.
“In the last two governments, Fine Gael policies on tourism led to a large increase in visitor numbers and were a major driver of economic success and job creation, which assisted our recovery following the last recession. The party will continue to ensure that tourism is a priority and can contribute to economic growth in Ireland,” the group concluded.