Opening the well-attended annual St Patrick’s Conference in the Down Museum entitled “ Holy Wells, High Crosses and the Landscape from the Air”, the MP for South Down Margaret Ritchie told delegates: “I believe that the early Christian Heritage of South Down is not only important historically, but that it can also be a big part of our future. Heritage tourism is growing worldwide and we should be claiming a bigger share of it.
“So it is hugely important that we uncover, learn about, interpret, develop and spread appreciation of these wonderful heritage assets.
“This conference and the information that will be shared here today from leading academics and archaeologist is part of the process of developing our tourism product, as we discover about, not just the background to the many sites associated with St Patrick and early Christian in South Down, but the work that has yet to be done to bring these tourist sites to their full potential.
“Tourism is a major economic driver in South Down and I want to see every aspect of our tourism product developed for the good of the local community and our economy.”]]>