Ireland’s Ancient East Gets Council Support

Council Motion On Ireland's Ancient East By Cllr Pete Byrne Receives Wide Support

Council Motion On Ireland’s Ancient East By Cllr Pete Byrne Receives Wide Support

The SDLP has secured the backing of Newry, Mourne and Down District Council for the inclusion of Counties Armagh & Down in the Ireland’s Ancient East destination marketing brand.

The motion was proposed by SDLP Slieve Gullion Councillor Pete Byrne and seconded by SDLP Mournes Councillor Laura Devlin.

The motion read: “This council recognises the four key pillars of Ireland’s Ancient East: Ancient Ireland, Early Christian Ireland, Medieval Ireland, and Anglo Ireland; align with and strengthen our districts tourism offering.

This council supports the inclusion of Counties Armagh and Down in the Ireland’s Ancient East destination marketing brand.

SDLP Cllr Pete Byrne who brought the motion to Newry Mourne and Down District Council.

Speaking after the motion was passed, SDLP Slieve Gullion Councillor Pete Byrne said: “Tonight’s motion is an important milestone.

“But it is just the beginning of the SDLP’s drive to deliver substantial and sustainable growth in our local tourism industry.

“My SDLP colleagues and I have been campaigning for a fair deal from Council for South Armagh Tourism.

“We have had deep concerns for quite some time that the full potential of our area was not being fully realised.

“Tourism is a vital part of our economy, and it’s important to remember that a rising tide for tourism lifts all boats.

“It boosts local business, it creates employment, and it enhances our communities.

“We are very definitely a part of Ireland’s Ancient East, and it’s time we made that official so that we can reap the very clear dividend for the communities we all serve.

SDLP Tourism Spokesperson and Mournes Councillor Laura Devlin said: “I was delighted to second the motion tonight.

“We have an unmatched tourism product in our District and placement within one of Tourism Ireland’s flagship international marketing brands will provide an exponential boost to our local tourism industry.

SDLP Cllr Laura Devlin seconded the motion brought forward by Cllr Pete Byrne.

“Tourism is our biggest economic driver. We saw a huge increase in domestic tourism on the back of Covid,.

“But we must continue to lobby, push and do all in our power to expand our tourism offering if we want this industry to be truly sustainable.”

My SDLP colleagues and I have found a strong appetite for the inclusion of Armagh and Down in Ireland’s Ancient East.

“We have engaged with the Irish Government and tourism agencies on both sides of the border,

“By backing the SDLP’s motion, our Council have added their weight to this campaign. This will now strengthen the SDLP’s hand, so that we can bring this vision to life. 

“We have seen how tourism exploded on the back of the rebranded Wild Atlantic Way.

“Ireland’s Ancient East is a globally tested marketing brand and brings it north of the border and would be a game-changer for this region.

“The SDLP will be working with all interested parties to make this vision a reality.”

Extending Ireland’s Ancient East ‘a priority for Sinn Féin’ says Hazzard 

Sinn Féin South Down MP Chris Hazzard has said extending Ireland’s Ancient East tourist hotspot into the North would boost tourism and strengthen our local economy.

The South Down MP said: “Sinn Féin has been calling for the extension of Ireland’s Ancient East into the North so that we can benefit from new and exciting tourism opportunities. 

(l-r) Sinéad Ennis MLA, Chris Hazzard MP, the Very Rev. Henry Hull, First Minister Designate Michelle O Neill MLA , and Cathy Mason MLA on a visit to Down Cathedral and St Patrick’s Grave in Downpatrick.

“The north-east region 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, it doesn’t make sense to stop that story at the border. 

“Extending this key tourist area into the north east can boost the number of people visiting the area which will create jobs and strengthen the local economy. 

“The principle of all-island cooperation in tourism is part of 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, we can unlock the huge tourism and hospitality potential here in South Down, attracting visitors, boosting local business and strengthening our all-island economy.”