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Hopes high for a place on Ború trail

The inclusion of Killaloe and Ballina on a national Brian Ború trail will put the twin communities firmly on the map for Irish visitors and tourists.

That’s the confident prediction of Killaloe/Ballina 2014 project team member Brona Moriarty, who is also part of a national steering group , which is planning a major commemoration to mark the 1,000th anniversary of the death of the former High King of Ireland.

A national Brian Ború commemorative group has already been established under the auspices of the Minister of Arts, Culture and the Gaeltacht, Jimmy Deenihan.

Ms Moriarty hopes this new trail will be officially launched as part of the key national commemorative events next Easter.

Key tourist attractions will be put in place in the former home of Brian Ború in Killaloe/Ballina, Cashel, Clontarf and Armagh, based around major events in his life and death. The Viking tradition in Dublin, Waterford and Limerick will also providing another interesting link for tourists who wish to turn back the clock and sample the culture and heritage of medieval times.

One of the major benefits of this trail is the fact that all the Brian Ború centres will ­promote and market what visitors can see in the other locations.

Ms Moriarty revealed a huge number of events are being put in place at local, regional and national level in the run up to a series of events celebrating the 100th anniversary of Brian Ború’s death.

“The number of events which are being organised over the next 12 months are extremely exciting. Killaloe and Ballina is ideally located on the banks of the River Shannon to tap into the huge tourism potential of Brian Ború.

“Killaloe and Ballina have a rich culture and heritage and Brian Ború played a central part in the towns’ history. There has been a feeling that tourism hasn’t been fully developed in East Clare compared to the west and north of the county.

“The development of a national Brian Ború trail will help place Killaloe and Ballina firmly on the tourist map and attract large numbers of new visitors into East Clare to enjoy its wide and diverse attractions,” she said.
Director of services, Ger Dollard, who is chairman of a local steering group, predicted the Brian Ború Millennium Anniversary is very significant for Clare and can be a major driver for tourism, particularly as a follow on to what is and will be a very successful Gathering.

Mr Dollard noted the all island tourism marketing initiative for 2014 will help build a very strong legacy, particularly in the area of Viking themed tourism in the future.

“At a local level, there are strong Brian Ború links right throughout the county, including O’Brien’s Tower, Scattery Island, Tuamgraney and Dromoland, offer the potential to build an overall county programme and a Brian Ború trail as an attraction for international and domestic tourists.

“There is a group meeting at national level particularly focused on the cultural elements of the commemoration and the task now is to have it fully recognised by the tourism agencies for an international tourism marketing drive and decisions need to be made on this urgently,” he said.

The council, together with Clare Tourism Forum and the Killaloe/Ballina Brian Ború group will be strongly represented at this year’s Milwaukee Irish Fest where a section of the cultural village is themed on Brian Ború.

The potential of the Brian Ború initiative can be seen in the fact that the Milwaukee fest has committed to funding the costs associated with 10 ­representatives to cover all ­aspects of the Brian Ború story.

The 2013 Féile Brian Ború, which runs from this Thursday to Sunday, has a number of events on its action packed programme with a 2014 focus.

Clare County Council have supported the Clare-based living history re-enactment group Mogh Roith, which will ­provide a taste of the diverse culture, food and heritage when Brian Ború reigned supreme.

Their Brian Ború Living History Camp runs on Saturday from 11am to 5pm and Sunday from 11.30am to 4.30pm at the back of St Flannan’s Cathedral.

The council has also provided support for ­Ardglass from the North, who will provide two replica 40ft Viking long boats for a historical journey along the River Shannon.


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