Independent political activist Liam Browne stated this week, that the record numbers which have been seen visiting the Rock of Cashel this year, provide irrefutable proof that the visit of the Queen of England earlier this year was a success in terms of driving tourism numbers to the town.
Liam said that “sources working at the Rock of Cashel have made it known to me, that the Rock has never been busier regarding the number of people visiting, since the royal visit. Last week alone, the former record for attendance was broken on two separate days, with over 2,500 people turning up. Even more significantly, it seems that the increase in visitors to the Rock is down to casual stopovers and walk-in tourists, rather than any increase in planned bus tours stopping at the Cashel attraction. This is evidence that people are now going out of their way to view the Rock, and it is easier to direct these tourists down into the town of Cashel, than it is to try to divert scheduled bus tours, who simply stop for a short time and then move on. It is now vitally important that tourism groups and local Cashel businesses do everything in their power to ensure that they take advantage of the extra numbers.”
Liam, who is the son of the former Mayor of Cashel, the late Michael Browne, also stated that he “believed that the historic gesture his father made in welcoming Queen Elizabeth to the Rock of Cashel, had a part to play in the improved figures. I think that in shaking the Queens hand, there was huge publicity worldwide focused on Cashel, and probably more than there would have been if this hadn’t been the case. The handshake was reported around the world, and this made people not only aware of the Rock, but also of the welcome that visitors could expect when they came to Cashel. That was absolutely my father’s intention, and I think the rationale he showed has been borne out. He always said that what he did was for the good of the town, and he has been proved right.”
Liam then went on to say however, “that Cashel must now do everything in its power to ensure that not only the Rock benefits but that all the people of the town benefit. Tourists need to be made more aware of the other attractions in Cashel. The Folk Village and the Bolton Library for example, would see a huge benefit if even only a small fraction of those visiting the Rock, also visited them. Also, the many B&B’s, restaurants, coffee shops and pubs, could also see huge value in adding to their numbers. Cashel is suffering the current economic crisis like many other towns around the country. But it can thrive if the right leadership and drive is shown at this time. It is now up to all stakeholders involved to make sure this happens.”