North Tipperary is only getting “crumbs from the table” when it comes to tourism, it has been claimed by local councilors.
And the Lower Ormond area has been described as the “Syria of Tipperary” by Councilor Michael O’Meara.
The comments came after Tipperary County Council tourism development officer Marie Phelan and tourism officer Aine McCarthy gave presentations Nenagh Municipal District Council on tourism.
Much of Phelan’s presentation concentrated on developing a Butler Trail in South Tipp and a Suir Blue Way from Cahir to Carrick-on-Suir. She pointed out that Tipperary was now part of Ireland’s Ancient East, which covers 17 counties, and Lough Derg was part of the Lakelands Region.
McCarthy outlined how the €2 million Lough Derg Stimulus Fund was to be spent, with most of it going to the Portroe/Ballina end of the lake and a fishing ramp the only project being looked at north of Nenagh.
“Disappointed would be too mild a word,” was Councilor Joe Hannigan’s response to the presentations.
“Not one thing is being done from the Nenagh River to the Brosna. It is alarming to see all the work being done elsewhere.”
His points were taken up by O’Meara, who said they were getting no funding from Oireachtas representatives in either Tipperary or Offaly. “We are the Syria of Tipperary,” he said.
O’Meara was “totally disillusioned” with the presentations. “The people of Lower Ormond are waking up to the potential of tourism but will be left behind. We are falling between two stools.”
Councilor Phyll Bugler described Phelan’s presentation as “excellent, but we are getting the crumbs from the table.”
Declaring that she “loves Lough Derg,” Bugler said she felt “like Clint Eastwood fighting on her own for everything. I am very unhappy about it.” The tourism drive was “very much weighted in South Tipp’s favor. I am heavy hearted.”
Tipperary got 168,000 overseas visitors in 2013 and a further 137,000 domestic visitors, with a combined spend of €72 million.