Ormond Castle was a fitting location for the launch of the Butler Trail on Saturday, June 2, an initiative of the South Tipperary Tourism Committee.
Further launches are being held in Clonmel and Cahir later in the month, and the map and guide produced for the Butler Trail will be formally launched in Carrick on Suir by the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Leo Varadkar TD on Thursday, June 28. Tony Musiol Chairman of South Tipperary Tourism Committee thanked the large numbers present for the Carrick on Suir launch of the Butler Trail as part of the Clancy Brothers Annual Music Festival. Tony said he first became aware of the Butler heritage when he joined the newly formed Carrick on Suir Development Association 30 years ago and realising that a family who managed to stay prominent and in a leadership role in Ireland for over 500 years, the idea of a Butler Trail was a natural development.
Although based in Carrick on Suir, the imprint of the Butler Family is all over Tipperary and Kilkenny and parts of Carlow and Offaly. It is planned to extend the initiative to these areas and to link up with the new Butler Driving Trail initiated by South East Tourism. Chairman Tony Musiol said the committee is targeting school tours to ensure that people are aware of the magnificent heritage in their area and can promote it to visitors. Plans for enhanced signage and interpretation, and to increase the promotion of Tipperary as a tourism destination through the Butler Trail are being put in place. The goal is to attract more tourists in our towns and help to grow the economy.
On behalf of the South Tipperary Tourism Committee, the Chairman thanked the Office of Public Works, the Town Council and South Tipperary County Council, South Tipperary Development Company, the County Enterprise Board and Failte Ireland for their support either in terms of personnel or financial. He also thanked the local organisations, COSBA, COSDA, COSTEDC and the Butler Trail committee, which he said has done a huge amount of work leading up to the launch.
Town Mayor Cllr. Patsy Fitzgerald opened his address by saying that Ormond Castle and Tudor Manor House was an ideal setting for the launch as it was owned and renovated many times by the Butler Family over a period spanning 800 years. Interestingly he said, the Butlers got their name because they were the chief Butlers to King John which entitled them to 10% of all wine imported into the country making the Butlers a very rich family who enjoyed the favour of the British Royal families for centuries.
The Mayor said the Butler Trail provides Carrick on Suir with a new hook to attract visitors national and international and he encouraged the people of the town to embrace this initiative and use it to make Carrick on Suir the tourist’s choice for a fun day or a unique weekend. He lauded the Butler Trail Committee which he added represents a range of cultural and business interests in the town and who has fed directly into the development of this new tourism initiative.
Before the official launch Claiomh, represented by Dave Swift and Melissa Shields dressed in period costume, presented a most interesting display and demonstration of the weaponry used and the attire worn in Ireland during the Butler era. Claiomh is a military ‘living history’ group that recreates live images of Ireland’s past. Melissa said the ladies of the time would take 45 minutes and need some assistance to put on the layers of clothes to cover the body and head.