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Tag Archives: Arlene White

Feile Brian Boru organisers learn good lessons from restrictions

THE organisers of Féile Brian Ború are considering modifying the way it runs next year’s festival even if Covid-19 is no longer an issue, writes Dan Danaher. Most of the events for the recent 28th Annual Féile Brian Ború were held online due to Covid-19 restrictions. Arlene White of Féile Brian Ború admitted this year’s experience had changed their overall view on how the festival should be run over the coming years. “We didn’t miss the running and racing between venues. This year’s festival has changed the way we will run it in 2022. “There is no harm in changing things. There will be a change in how we do things. Previously, we had a dog competition, but the pet photographic competition worked very well. “The performance by local singer, Norma Manley with Brendan Pooley on guitar in Killaloe Cathedral on Saturday night was beautiful. There doesn’t have to be a huge concert for people to enjoy an intimate performance …

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Fun for all the family at Féile Brian Boru

A FEAST of entertainment fit for a king will be offered online and outdoor for locals and visitors during the 28th annual Féile Brian Ború, which runs from July 7 to July 11. Last year, people were disappointed with the cancellation of the festival due to Covid-19. However, it goes ahead this year, albeit with some changes in line with Covid-19 restrictions. Earlier in this year, Arlene White of Féile Brian Ború, recalled the organising committee weren’t sure if the festival would go ahead and were fortunate to apply for, and be granted funding. “I think it could be very hard to come back and organise a festival next year, if we took this year off, presuming next July should be okay concerning Covid-19. “There is a buzz of excitement about the festival this year. While we don’t have events organised for Sunday, July 11, we are hoping people will download one of the new apps and explore the sites …

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East Clare’s ‘time to shine’ in tourism stakes

TOURISM operators in East Clare have been urged to get behind the development of a visitor and interpretative centre for Inis Cealtra, by supporting a Part 8 application from Clare County Council. Addressing the AGM of Tourism East Clare last week, Tourism Officer Joan Tarmey said the authority is hopeful of a funding allocation under the Rural Regeneration and Development Fund (RRDF) to progress the “landmark tourism project” for the region. “Looking at the long-term objectives for the Inis Cealtra project, one is to conserve it as a really important ecclesiastical site,” Ms Tarmey said. “We also want to expand its attractiveness as a tourism destination. These are the two long-term objectives. It’s massively important for the Killaloe Municipal District and it’s really important in raising the profile of East Clare as an attractive visitor destination. The elected members have really been on board with this. They’ve been really wanting to see this happen for a long time and pushing …

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Hopes of post-lockdown tourism boost for East Clare

ESCAPING crowds and traditional tourist hot spots will be on the minds of many who are looking ahead to the summer season, in the hope of a holiday break and an easing of lockdown restrictions. Fáilte Ireland’s research on consumer sentiment, which reveals a renewed interest in activity-based and outdoor tourism, has provided cause for optimism for tourism operators in East Clare as they look ahead to the 2021 season. Ahead of the AGM of Tourism East Clare, which will take place on Zoom on February 24, Chairperson Arlene White said the most is positive. “Given what Fáilte Ireland has found about what domestic visitors will be looking for this year, we can see that East Clare really matches their needs perfectly,” she told The Champion. “There’s a huge demand for holidays and breaks in rural areas with plenty of water-based and outdoor amenities and activities. Obviously, we have a wealth of opportunities to get active in nature and amenities …

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Inis Cealtra project takes major step forward

EAST Clare tourism interests have warmly welcomed progress with the long-awaited project to develop a visitor centre for Inis Cealtra. Clare County Council announced this week that consultants, McCullough Mulvin Architects, Tandem Partners Ltd and Tobin Consulting Engineers, have signed a contract for the design of the Visitor Experience centre. The council is leading the project, along with a wide range of partners. Chairperson of East Clare Tourism, Arlene White welcomed a number of aspects of the plans to further the next stage of the project. “It is very encouraging to see the emphasis on sustainability and connections with the local community,” she said. “We want to avoid a situation where there are buses of visitors flocking and just barely touching down in the area. I think lessons have been learned, in that respect, from the situation at The Cliffs of Moher.” Ms White added that the challenge would be to ensure real benefits to the wider East Clare region. …

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Hopes for salvation of East Clare tourism season

HOPES continue to be expressed that the tourism season in East Clare can be salvaged to some degree, despite the severe blow dealt to the region by Covid-19. Chairperson of East Clare Tourism Arlene White said the season to-date “has not been a total washout” and that the potential of the area to offer people activities in nature and at uncrowded locations continued to be realised. “It is nothing like it should be, naturally,” she said. “People are out and about walking and kayaking though and it’s not quite bad as people had feared.” There is a widespread acknowledgement that, when it comes to accommodation, self-catering providers are faring best. “In some cases,” Arlene said, “demand is out-stripping supply and self-catering is booming.” That situation contrasts with the plight faced by traditional Bed and Breakfast accommodation. “I do know of some in East Clare who have decided, for the protection of their own health, that they won’t open this year,” …

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Call for Council to Take Over Craggaunowen Vistor Centre

ONE of the pioneers of tourism in Clare would be “turning in his grave” at the decision to curtail access to Shannon Heritage facilities, a local authority member has said. Councillor Pat Hayes has slammed the decision to keep Knappogue Castle and Craggaunowen closed until further notice, in response to the pandemic, and to limit the season for Bunratty Castle and Folk Park. He said the situation flew in the face of the legacy of Dr Brendan O’Regan, who was instrumental in developing the amenities. “Given how important domestic tourism will be this year, and the fact that people are looking for facilities close to home, the decision is very disappointing,” he said. “As well as their importance to tourism in the midwest, these are vital facilities in terms of Irish history and heritage. Dr Brendan O’Regan would be turning in his grave over this.” The Fianna Fáil member there is now a strong case for a local authority take-over …

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Féile Brían Ború called off as Covid-19 restrictions continue

THE latest East Clare festival to fall foul of the Covid-19 restrictions is the hugely popular Féile Brían Ború, which organisers have decided to call off in the interests of public health and safety. Chairperson of East Clare Tourism and member of the organising committee, Arlene White, said that while the decision had been a tough one to make, hopes had been gradually fading over the last couple of weeks. The 2019 festival took place on the second week in July, and in the context of the roadmap for re-opening the economy, organisers couldn’t envisage a similar gathering on the shores of Lough Derg in just over five week’s time. “Last year, we had 2,000 people for the fireworks display, and we just couldn’t have crowds of that size in the context of the coronavirus restrictions,” Ms White explained. “Our organising committee also arranges the Killaloe St Patrick’s Day parade, and once we had to call that off, we started …

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