The SDLP has launched a campaign to have Counties Armagh and Down included in Ireland’s Ancient East.
Ireland’s Ancient East is a flagship international tourism initiative marketed by Tourism Ireland, with four key pillars: Ancient Ireland, Early Christian Ireland, Medieval Ireland, and Anglo Ireland.
Newry & Armagh SDLP MLA Justin McNulty said:
“Ireland’s Ancient East is a hugely successful international initiative which celebrates Ireland’s ancient myths and legends and presents them alongside the modern and vibrant Ireland that we have today.
“As it stands, Ireland’s Ancient East stops at the border, and we in the SDLP are determined to change that. Between the two counties of Armagh and Down, we boast the resting place of Brian Boru in Armagh City, Cú Chulainn’s stomping ground in the Ring of Gullion, and St. Patrick’s grave in Downpatrick. We have an immense amount to bring to the table which will serve to considerably strengthen the tourism offering of Ireland’s Ancient East."
Slieve Gullion SDLP Councillor Pete Byrne continued:
“I’m excited to be launching this campaign to have Armagh and Down included in Ireland’s Ancient East. Along with my SDLP colleagues, I have been engaging with the Irish Government, Tourism Ireland, the NI Tourist Board, and Newry Mourne and Down District Council to bring this vision to life.
“At this time of economic uncertainty, when businesses and households across our area are struggling, we need to demonstrate leadership and grasp every single opportunity we can to boost this area and enhance our communities.
“We have been working hard to shape the council’s tourism strategy to ensure that South Armagh is represented within it, and this drive to bring Ireland’s Ancient East across the border will fuel an exponential growth in our tourism industry."
SDLP Slieve Gullion Representative Killian Feehan concluded:
“The launch of this campaign is part of a broader strategy by the SDLP in our area to drive sustainable and substantial growth in our local tourism industry.
“The SDLP will be delivering a Tourism Conference on 1st December in Newry where we will be connecting key tourism stakeholders with the local tourism industry. This initiative is a key priority for the SDLP – not only will it put our area on the map internationally, but it will serve to enhance our tourism industry and boost our local economy.
“Our message is very simple: a rising tide lifts all boats, and we will be working with other political parties to build consensus around this campaign, so that our vision becomes a reality."