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Deenihan Initiates Revival of Heritage Towns

Deenihan Initiates Revival of Heritage Towns

Youghal Chosen to Pilot New Heritage Towns Initiative

Jimmy Deenihan TD, Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, hosted a significant forum, (Thursday 26th April 2012) involving a range of groups, to kick-start the development of a new Historic Towns Initiative for Ireland.

The forum was designed to stimulate an active debate and discussion between key stakeholders to outline how a new Historic Towns Initiative could work and to seek agreement on a way forward for a pilot scheme to test the initiative.  Addressing the forum were representatives from the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, the Heritage Council, Failte Ireland, the Department of Environment, Community and Local Government and other stakeholders.

The main outcome of this forum has been the agreement to pilot a new Heritage Towns Initiative in three towns this year: Youghal (Cork), Westport (Mayo) and Listowel (Kerry).  The Heritage Council and Failte Ireland will be the lead implementation partners working with the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht.

The core aim of the Heritage Towns Initiative will be to conserve and protect and find new uses where required for the built heritage of the participating historic towns whilst also maximising the economic value of tourism in each location.  The Heritage Towns Initiative will promote heritage-led urban regeneration policies which are increasingly common throughout Europe.  A number of international projects have been completed which will provide useful case studies for Ireland in establishing this pilot scheme and which also demonstrate the heritage and economic potential that exists in schemes of this type.

Jimmy Deenihan TD, Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht commented: "Ireland's historic towns are a significant attraction for visitors to this country who have an interest in culture and heritage. The Programme for Government recognises the importance of promoting cultural tourism, and the conservation and protection of the architectural heritage assets in our historic towns is vitally important in establishing and developing a quality tourism product."

"The pilot of the Heritage Towns Initiative will aim to preserve existing heritage assets, stimulate heritage-led regeneration and add to the tourism offering of these locations. The needs of the communities that live in participating towns will remain core to the process."

"Failte Ireland and the Heritage Council will now commence working on the introduction of this pilot scheme in these three towns. I look forward to seeing this pilot scheme in place and - pending its successful implementation - rolling out this initiative in more locations across Ireland."

Fota House presents Mezzo Contralto, Amanda Neri
On Friday, 23rd March 2012, renowned Mezzo Contralto, Amanda Neri makes a welcome return to Fota House presenting "Ridonami la Calma" or 'Restore my calm' as it translates into English. This promises to be a night of music to soothe the soul. Amanda will be supported by The Carrigtwohill Gospel Choir and The Upbeatsand will be accompanied by Patrick Conlon.      
Pond Lillies at Fota House - February 2012
Pond Lillies at Fota House, Arboretum & Gardens
Photograph taken by Frank Whitaker, February 2012.
This will be the seventh time that Amanda has performed in concert at Fota House not including her enthralling performance during a special dining evening  and entertainment. 
Amanda is a final honours degree student and a soloist of the Opera Studio at the Cork School of Music. Her work as Contralto soloist has included Rossini's "Petite Messa Solenelle" at St Finbarres Cathedral in Cork with Cara O'Sullivan, Breffini Horgan and Eoin Leahy; Handel's "Messiah" with the Kerry Chamber Orchestra, Handel's "Dixit Dominus" with Culwick Choral Choir, Vivaldi's Gloria with the Kerry Chamber Orchestra & Choir, Mozart 250 Celebrations in the Aula Maxima and "Love, Longing & Champagne" at the Curtis Auditorium C.S.M. She has been asked to sing at the Corpus Christi Procession in June of this year. 
In 2009, Amanda was honored to be requested to sing for President Mary McAleese in Aras an Uachtarain with guests Colm Wilkinson and Riverdance. In the same year, she went on cultural exchange to Shanghai and performed in a concert with Cork Soprano Majella Cullagh and guests in November at St. Mary's Church in aid of L'Arche Community Centre.
For all music lovers, this is an evening not to be missed.
Venue: Fota House
Time: 8.00pm
Date: Friday 23rd March 2012
Tickets: €20.00
To book your ticket, please phone 021 481 5543. Pre-booking is advised as seats are limited. 
Hee-Haw for Youghal as Celebrity Donkey Derby brings Top Jockeys to Town

6th March 2012


Six of Ireland's top jump jockeys are getting ready to go under starters orders as they get set to compete in the inaugural 'Paddy Power Celebrity Donkey Derby' on Friday 23rd March 2012 at 7.00 p.m in the Main Street of Youghal, Co. Cork

Fresh from their exploits in Cheltenham, local Youghal favourite, Davy Russell will line up in battle against fellow big names such as Paul Carberry, Paul Townend, Nina Carberry, Andrew McNamara and Davy Condon.  The race will see the professional jockeys riding donkeys on the Main Street of the East Cork Town. The event is is being held in aid of The Annual 'Queen of The Sea' Festival which takes place from 7th to 9th July 2012. 


Organised by Youghal Chamber of Tourism & Development, the event will see jockeys team up with local pubs and sporting clubs for an evening of fun and mass hysteria!   A warm-up 'trainer's race' in advance of the Donkey Derby will see teams compete in an obstacle course throughout the town and will include: a baby tractor race, a trolley dash with a twist, jumbo bouncy balls and a series of vintners challenge and hurdles!  Commentary of the evening will be by the infamous Pat 'Nobber' Daly! 


For further details contact: Siobhan at Youghal Chamber of Tourism & Development

                                        Tel: 024-92447 E:




Issued by: Youghal Chamber of Tourism & Development

                   Tel: 024-92447 E:

CIT Students to Focus on Youghal's Heritage Tourism Product

Youghal's heritage tourism product offering is set to be the subject of intense scrutiny in the coming months as a group of 3rd Year Tourism Students from Cork Institute of Technology (C.I.T) undertake a major research study on the profile of the Youghal's independent heritage tourism visitors.  The study is set to get underway on Wednesday 29th February as the students undertake their first fact-finding mission to the town.  The project will be undertaken in association with The Youghal Socio-Economic Development Group and is a further development of the relationship which is being nurtured between the 3rd Level Institution and Youghal.  

The purpose of the project is to determine how best to capitalise on and exploit the heritage product (built and natural) in Youghal to the benefit of all tourism providers in the area.  In recent years there has been a huge effort in developing and investing in Youghal's heritage tourism product which has been led by Youghal Town Council in partnership with The Heritage Council of Ireland.  The challenge for Youghal now lies in marketing this quality product to this specific targeted market.

 Speaking in advance of the commencement of the study, Dr. Aisling Ward of the Tourism and Hospitality Department of CIT commented: "Following the initial exploratory project embarked upon by a group of third year CIT tourism students last year, a new group of students are currently working on the second installment of this project.  The emphasis of the project this year relates to the enhancement, promotion and marketing of the heritage product in Youghal.  This is a great opportunity for both the students and the town itself," said Dr. Ward.  "The students benefit through getting hands-on experience of a destination marketing project, while Youghal will benefit from the research gathered by the students, their creativity and insightfulness".

Welcoming the upcoming research undertaking, Aileen Murray of The Youghal Socio-Economic Development Group spoke about the focus of the research.  "Over the past number of years Youghal has seen  significant investment  in its heritage product offering; including in signage, the on-going works to the town walls, the heritage painting scheme and soon to be the re-opening of The Clockgate.  These have begun to pay dividends with the securing of a number of escorted tour series like CIE Tours International to Youghal for guided tours.  However, we are aware that a significant number of visitors travel to Youghal independently to experience the town's heritage for themselves and stay longer than many of the escorted tours. These are the higher spending visitor and we want to attract more of this type of visitor to our town.  This study will seek to develop the profile of this independent visitor, and understand  just how they are finding out about Youghal, and in turn seek to target more of them." said Aileen. "I'm sure that the tourism product providers will welcome the students and assist them as they seek to provide us with this invaluable source of information". 

Research will be conducted through liaising with all accommodation providers in the area, with a particular focus on the visitor characteristics including nationality, length of stay, holiday activities, age, travel party, method of booking etc. The students will present their findings to the Board of Directors of The Youghal Socio-Economic Development Group and will include creative recommendations for the promotion and marketing of Youghal as a heritage tourism destination. 

 Issued by: The Youghal Socio-Economic Development Group

Contact: Aileen Murray, Tel: 024-81814  or 086-1703128 E:

Eco-friendly Boardwalk Set to Open on Youghal's Blue Flag Beaches

Youghal's reputation as " Ireland's Finest Coastal Resort" will be significantly enhanced with the completion of the first phase (395 metres) of the long-anticipated 2000mm-wide mobility-disabled access boardwalk running from Youghal Front Strand to Claycastle.  The route is set to be completed by the end of January 2012.  (The second phase of the development will see the completion of the link between Claycastle and Redbarn). The boardwalk consists of hardwood timber deck supported on piled foundations, not requiring a railing, and once complete will span 1926 metres, eventually forming part of the National Coastal Walking Route. 


Financed by Failte Ireland (under the Tourism Capital Investment Programme 2007-2013) in partnership with Youghal Town Council, the boardwalk will promote and enhance Youghal's considerable ecological resources in a sustainable manner.  The completion of the walkway will benefit both domestic and international visitors to Youghal, but also local Youghal residents, providing a safe and well marked walk-way for recreational use.  The amenity will further enhance the resort's three blue flag beaches. It is expected that families of all ages (the key target market for the area) staying in the Quality Hotel & Self Catering Resort in Redbarn will be provided with direct pedestrian access to the town.


In 2008, The Youghal Socio-Economic Development Group (YSEDG) commissioned consultants to prepare a report on the feasibility of an eco-friendly walkway from Youghal Town Centre to Ballyvergan Marsh and onto Redbarn. A boardwalk was considered the most appropriate method of providing controlled access to the route, having a low impact on the environment which would be accessible, for the most of its length, to wheelchairs and push chairs.   In 2010 Failte Ireland indicated that the proposed project would comply with the terms of their capital funding and in turn the YSEDG undertook the successful fund development of the first phase of the project which is in the jurisdiction of Youghal Town Council.   Failte Ireland allocated 75% of the costs of the project, totalling €137,434 with Youghal Town Council financing the remainder. Commenting on the project, Fiona Buckley, Head of Operations South West stated: "Investing in our tourism offering is critical to ensuring we are able to compete with other holiday destinations across the globe - offering visitors to Ireland a memorable holiday experience, which includes high quality activities and attractions. As a national tourism development authority we are continually working to ensure we do just that and this development here is Youghal is a great example of what can be done and further adds to the great visitor experience that is already available in the South West."



 Following a public tender process, Byrne Plant Hire & Civil Engineering Contractors were awarded the contract for the project which got underway in October 2011. It is expected that following on from the completion of Phase I of the project (Youghal Town Centre to Claycastle) in January 2012 Phase II of the development of this walking route linking Claycastle with Redbarn would get underway. Failte Ireland has indicated their support in financing capital works for Phase II following the completion of Phase I subject to availability of funding.   Phase II of the project is under the remit of Cork County Council and is the most ecologically sensitive and challenging in terms of access. An ecological impact assessment and the appropriate assessment screening on this section of the proposed walkway are currently underway. 

Speaking ahead of the opening of the boardwalk, Town Clerk Liam Ryan said: "The delivery of this Boardwalk shows the commitment of Youghal Town Council to improving the tourism infrastructure of the Town, and is a further step forward in maximising the potential of our natural tourism assets for the economic benefit of business in Youghal. We will be actively encouraging Cork County Council to complete Phase 2 of the Boardwalk Project linking Redbarn and the Quality Hotel to the town. These linkages will benefit substantially the Strand area of the Town and help to develop further sustainable tourism jobs for the Town."

Crucially, the environmental impact of the walkway will be minimal with the boardwalk providing a 'buffer zone' to help combat soil erosion.  Always central to the development of the boardwalk were that Youghal's considerable ecological resources would be promoted and enhanced in a sustainable manner having a particular regard for Ballyvergan Marsh. The route traverses a number of natural habitats, thereby offering opportunities for the identification of various species of birds and plants as well as highlighting the value of biodiversity and the ecological value of the marshlands. The completed walkway will aim to build on this natural resource and promote a greater awareness of the natural and cultural heritage of the area in particular among international visitors to the town. 

The potential for the development of educational tourism is significant, as the route will offer the possibility of developing a number of themes including urban development, ecology, geology and coastal processes.


The completion of the first phase of the project comes in the wake of the announcement that Youghal has secured a number of escorted tour series for 2012 and 2013 from CIE Tours International. Investment in heritage and tourism infrastructure is finally beginning to reap rewards for Youghal as the town delivers on the needs of its two key tourism markets - the cultural/heritage tourism visitor and the domestic family market.  These visitors will in turn contribute to the boosting of Youghal's economic fortunes in the years ahead.















Complimentary Car Parking at Midleton Line and Cobh Line Commuter Railway Stations for Month of December 2011.

Iarnrod Eireann is delighted to announce, for the 3rd year in a row,  that it is offering East Cork Commuters - Complimentary Car Parking at Midleton Line and Cobh Line Commuter Railway Stations during the month of December 2011.

As and from Wednesday, 1st December 2011 and right up to Monday, 2nd January 2012 inclusive – commuters will be able to park at Midleton, Carrigtwohill, Glounthaune and Little Island Stations - "Free of Charge".

Midleton Station has 280 car spaces, Carrigtwohill Station has 200 car spaces, Glounthaune Station has 40 car spaces and Little Island Station has 70 car spaces. 

"For the month of December 2011 - we invite new customers, not alone from the Midleton area, but from all over East Cork - including Whitegate, Killeagh, Ballycotton etc - even as far as Youghal, to use our excellent and well laid out Park & Ride facilities at Midleton, Carrigtwohill, Glounthaune and Little Island Stations. Hopefully they will like what they see and travel on our purpose built Commuter Railcars to Cork and as a result will also continue to use our services" – said Christy Maher, Iarnrod Eireann's new District Manager in Cork.

21 trains a day operate in each direction from Midleton to Cork (weekdays) and the journey time is only 23 minutes. In addition, 23 trains a day operate in each direction from Cobh to Cork (weekdays) and the journey time is just 24 minutes. There are also commuter stations on the Cobh line at Rushbrooke, Carrigaloe and Fota which do not have "Park & Ride" facilities.

12 trains operate in each direction from Cobh to Cork and 8 trains in each direction from Midleton to Cork on Sundays.

The adult Day Return fare from Midleton is just €6.70 (half fare for children under 16 years age), and €6.55 per adult day return from Cobh to Cork.

To make it even easier for East Cork Commuters - Iarnrod Eireann also has also introduced a New One Day Rail Service Ticket which includes Rail Travel from Midleton or Cobh and Cork City Bus Services for just €10.00 (for one day).

Customers using our Commuter Rail Services over the Festive Season - should note there is a regular frequent bus service which operates to and from Kent Station, Cork (No. 5 city bus service)  to Cork City Centre. This bus also serves Washington Street, UCC, College Road (Bon Secours Hospital), Dennehy's Cross, Model Farm Road, FAS & CIT.

There is also a new frequent bus service from Kent Station to Cork Airport. Commuters can now commute by train to Cork and travel by bus (Route # 226) from Kent Station, Cork to Cork Airport - making it easier to get to Cork Airport and also avoiding the parking charges at the Airport.

Iarnrod Eireann would like to wish all its customers a very happy and peaceful Christmas.

For further information please log onto or contact Iarnród Eireann for Information on (021) 450-6766. 

Andrew Roche

Business Development Manager, Cork

Iarnrod Eireann (Irish Rail), Kent Station, Cork, Ireland.

  Contact Details:

Phone number: +353214557204 (direct land line) / Mobile number: +353872588764
















US visitors to Youghal are set to dramatically increase in 2012 and 2013 following negotiations undertaken by Youghal Chamber of Tourism & Development, The Youghal Socio-Economic Development Group (YSEDG) with CIE Tours International. A guided tour of Youghal's Heritage Trail is set to form part of the company's group tour itineraries in 2012 and a selection of tour series in 2013, using the Kerry to Waterford routes and vice versa. CIE Tours International is the largest tour operator in the US driving vacation business to Ireland.  Last year they handled 35,000 visitors to the island of Ireland. 

In mid October, Senior Vice President of CIE Tours International, Dennis Savage, who is based in Morristown New Jersey paid a visit to Youghal on a US staff education trip and expressed a major interest in including Youghal's Heritage Trail on a number of routes to the region.   This was the culmination of a number of years of work undertaken by Youghal Chamber at various coach and tourism workshops selling Youghal's tourism product offering.  Speaking about his visit and the prospect of including Youghal on their itineraries, Mr. Savage commented: "Youghal is a very photogenic town and adding a walking tour would ensure our coach tours routing from Kerry to Waterford would be compelled to slow-down, with a diversion from the local motorway and learn firsthand the local history.  I believe that walking tours enhance the coach tour experience and are an important ingredient in our continued market share growth.  I have noticed that too often historic towns are being bypassed by coach crews and in doing so an integral part of the real Ireland experience is being lost. For the Killarney/Cork/Waterford route, Youghal is the perfect mid morning or afternoon comfort or photo-stop."  said Mr. Savage.

Following on from Mr. Savage's familiarisation trip,  a delegation from Youghal Chamber of Tourism & Development (Eileen Quill) and The Youghal Socio-Economic Development Group (Aileen Murray) met with senior representatives from CIE Tours in Dublin to discuss the details of various package options. 

Aileen Murray (YSEDG) pointed to the fact that Youghal was finally starting to be recognised for its efforts and investment in Heritage by some of the main tour operators. "The fact that the major decision makers of CIE Tours are now including Youghal on their routes is testament to the years of investment through Youghal's Heritage-Led Regeneration Strategy by Youghal Town Council - in the Town Walls, St.Mary's Collegiate Church and heritage signage for example; together with the marketing efforts of The Youghal Chamber of Tourism & Development in attracting coach tour business over the years.  Once CIE Tours as the market leaders come on board, it is only a matter of time before other operators begin to take notice of Youghal too." said Aileen.

Commenting on the opportunity, President of Youghal Chamber of Tourism and Development, Mary O'Donnell said: "This is a great opportunity for Youghal and I am delighted with the positive outcome to last Thursday's meeting with Conor Wall and Senior representatives of CIE bus tours in Dublin.  We will work hard on completing the requirements requested to become a CIE Tour destination."

Mary went on to thank Sal Tivy, Vice President for researching contacts for the meeting with CIE Tours and also Eileen Quill, Chamber Director and Aileen Murray, YSEDG for attending the Dublin meeting and presenting our wonderful town and all it has to offer as a very attractive stop over and tourist destination. 

"I welcome all prospects for potential tourism generation for our town and locality", said Mary. "We are delighted to secure CIE tour excursions to Youghal for 2012 and being placed on a full programme for CIE tours for the 2013 season.  This will increase business and employment and bring a very welcome boost to our local economy."

CIE Escorted Tours operate from March each year on a weekly basis through to November.  The Company is also considering various packages which the Chamber of Tourism & Development has compiled, including a number of tour and lunch options.    

Issued by: Youghal Chamber of Tourism & Development &

                  Youghal Socio-Economic Development Group (YSEDG)


Ø  Mary O'Donnell: (Pres. Youghal Chamber): T: 024-20200 M: 086-6016962 E:

Ø  Aileen Murray (YSEDG): T: 024-81814 M: 086-1703128 E:

Green Barn Farmers Market is back in full swing every Friday from 11am to 3pm.

Offering customers the best in class local produce and artisan foods. The market provides

customers with a diverse range of naturally produced food, an ideal spot for browsing, food shopping and lunch. Stalls include ;

Ballycurraginny Farm - new potatoes, fruit/veg , juice and eggs,Ballycotton fish - fresh fish, Cupcakes by Katie, Volcano - woodfired pizzas,Collins Bakery, ,Lens Cereals - muesli mixes, dried nuts and fruit, Poynton Foods - tea/coffee, jam and pickles, Woodside Farm - free range, rare breed pork products, Joys - o'flynns gourmet artisan sausage in a handmade roll and locally sourced steak quarter pounder in a handmade roll with a homemade relish, Green Barn - lasagne's/ quiche/ seafood pies/ jam and chutneys/ brown bread and scones,

Claires - flowers/ pate/ strawberries/ ardsallagh goats cheese and hard cheese/ rebel chili sauces/ smoked salmon, Cuthberts Bakery - traditional bread products / health loaves/ soda bread/ french sticks/ bread stuffing/ multi seed loaves and burger buns with more stalls coming soon.

Midleton's Tuesday's Market
A new Farmers Market has been set up in Midleton. It takes place every Tuesday between 10am and 2pm in the car park of the 4Home Superstores in Midleton Retail Park.


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