Hazzard Welcomes Ancient East Talks Coming To Down

Talks to commence on extending ‘Ancient East’ into South Down says Hazzard 

South Down Sinn Féin MP Chris Hazzard MP has welcomed confirmation from Stormont’s Economy Minister Conor Murphy today that the Minister is to commence discussions with tourism bodies about the potential of extending ‘Ireland’s Ancient East’ into the North – including South Down. 

The South Down MP said such a move could be a “game changer” for the local hospitality and tourism industry throughout South Down. 

Mr Hazzard said: “Sinn Féin have been calling for the extension of Ireland’s Ancient East for some time.

South Down MP Chris Hazzard welcomes the Minister of Economy’s announcement that Down will figure in Ireland’s Ancient East

“Therefore I welcome confirmation today from the Economy Minister Conor Murphy that he is to commence discussions with his Southern counterparts in Dublin, and the wider tourism industry about using the highly successful brand in the north of Ireland. 

“There is no doubt that huge opportunities have been missed as key tourist areas including Ireland’s Ancient East, and the Wild Atlantic Way, stop at the border, excluding the North of the island.

“The North-East region in particular is steeped in rich culture and heritage from Cú Chulainn to Saint Patrick, Fionn Mac Cumhaill, Viking King Magnus and the United Irishmen.

“It also has the beauty of the Mournes and many stunning towns and villages.

“With the North playing a significant role in Ireland’s story from the beginning, partition victimises this rich heritage, having a negative impact on our island.

“The principle of all-island cooperation in the area of tourism is established since the Good Friday Agreement and aims to increase tourism to the island of Ireland; and to support the north to realise its tourism potential.

“Sinn Féin wants to grow all-island tourism to protect and create good quality jobs and put money back into the pockets of workers and communities.

“By working together with other parties, we can unlock the huge tourism and hospitality potential here in South Down, attracting visitors, boosting local business and strengthening our all-island economy.

“We must seize the opportunity to encourage those who live on the island and those who visit here, to explore more of it.”