An estimated 200 walkers led by the Mayor of Carrick-on-Suir stepped out in their hiking boots to promote a scenic river walk to tourists and locals.
Mayor Cllr Patsy Fitzgerald highlighted the importance of promoting walking tourism and declared that it was time Carrick-on-Suir become a beneficiary of the revived interest in walking throughout the country after finishing the hike of approximately 12km along the banks of the River Suir between Kilsheelan and Carrick-on-Suir.
The route along the old barge tow path is one of ten Tipperary walking routes being promoted by South Tipperary Tourism Company.
Prior to the arrival of the railway line, the tow path was the principal route for freight transfer between Carrick-on-Suir and Clonmel. Barges full of goods were pulled along the river bank by horses.
The tourism company along with Carrick-on-Suir Tourism and Economic Development Committee organised the hike along the river bank walk to promote it to local and tourists on Sunday, August 18.
There was a tremendous response as up to 200 people of all ages turned up en masse to register at Ormond Castle in Carrick and at the registration base in Kilsheelan on the day.
Three Piltown coaches transported the walkers to Kilsheelan from Ormond Castle and the groups included a mix of many locals, and visitors who had travelled from counties Tipperary, Waterford and Kilkenny and as far as Wicklow enjoyed the trek. .
Renowned Carrick-on-Suir boatman Ralph O’Callaghan was on hand to talk to the walkers about the river and the history connected to it and the abundant wild life, fauna and flora in the area.
Back in Carrick-on-Suir, the large group met in O’Ceallachains for complimentary refreshments.
Mayor of Carrick-on-Suir Patsy Fitzgerald, who along with Niall Walsh, Chairman of Carrick-on-Suir Development Association and Tony Musiol, Chairman of Carrick-on-Suir Tourism and Economic Development Committee walked the route, said he welcomed the walk and the promotion of the River Suir. It was a wonderful opportunity to promote tourism in the town.
Niall Walsh said this was the first time the route had been officially walked by a ‘walking group’.
He said he was delighted with the response and hoped that more people will come to Carrick-on-Suir in the future and enjoy the towpath walk along with the many other attractions in and around the town.
Cllr Fitzgerald spoke of the huge revived interest in walking routes throughout the country for both locals and tourists and the importance of the promotion of this healthy tourism activity.
“Walking tours are a big part of the tourism product in Ireland and bring in a healthy revenue, it is time for Carrick-on-Suir to be a beneficiary of this”, he said and noted that the organised walk from Carrick to Dovehill during the Clancy Festival in June had also attracted huge interest.
Con Ryan, County Tipperary Rural Recreation Officer, praised all who had worked hard preparing the route.
He said the walk was very easy and can be walked in safety by young and old as the terrain is flat and the majestic river is always interesting.
Mayor Patsy Fitzgerald, Niall Walsh and Tony Musiolthank everyone who supported the walk on Sunday, the Town Council and County Council, landowners and fishing clubs for ensuring the riverbank walks is accessible for walkers.
They thank Carrick-on-Suir River Rescue for their assistance and presence on the river during the walk; Carrick-on-Suir Fishing Club for their facilitation and help, Piltown Coaches for kindly providing transport to Kilsheelan and O’Ceallachains for the refreshments after the walk.
‘Walk the Tipperary 10’ brochures with maps and outlines of themed walks in Co. Tipperary are available from Carrick-on-Suir Heritage Centre, Ormond Castle and the Nano Nagle Community Resource Centre.
Log on to www.discoverireland.ie/thetipperary10 for further information.