Carrick-on-Suir’s part in the Butler Heritage Trail will be heralded to tourists by signage on motorways, large banner style welcome signs on the town’s approach roads and further direction and information signs in the town.
The signage plan for the Butler Trail in South Tipperary was outlined at Carrick-on-Suir Town Council’s November meeting by Joanne Hughes, Heritage and Tourism Development Animator with South Tipperary Tourism Development Company.
She told councillors the Butler Trail signage would be rolled out to Carrick-on-Suir, Clonmel and Cahir in phases as it was an expensive project.
The three towns are being asked to pinpoint the priority signs so they can be put in place first.
The overall signage plan, which Ms Hughes described as “fresh, vibrant and different” will cost around E300,000.
Ms Hughes said the trail will be in limbo until the signage for the various historical landmarks associated with the Butlers of Ormonde is put in place.
For Carrick-on-Suir, it is proposed to erect direction signage on the M9 Dublin/Waterford motorway exit at Knocktopher in Co. Kilkenny.
The signage earmarked for the approach road entrances to Carrick-on-Suir will in the style of a medieval banner and will be green in colour.
It’s proposed to have one of these banner signs in English at one side of an approach road and one in Irish at the other side of the road.
This won’t be possible on smaller approach roads so they may be staggered or there will be just one sign in both languages.
Once tourists enter the town there will be signs directing them to Ormond Castle and the designated Butler Trail car park, which it’s proposed will be the New Street Car Park.
It’s proposed to erect a Butler Trail banner at the designated car park along with an orientation board featuring information about the trail, the Butlers association with Carrick-on-Suir and local stories of interest.
Ms Hughes said Carrick-on-Suir and the other Butler Trail towns will also have a walking trail of between 30 and 40 minutes in length.
There will be further information boards at other locations in the town about the Butler family, the walking trail and stories of local interest.
It’s also planned to provide free tourist information booklets in Carrick-on-Suir and the other towns that will feature more fuller accounts of the towns’ association with Butlers and its history.
There will be scope to involve local traders in this booklet.
They will be available from local shops displaying the Butler Trail sticker.
A dedicated booklet for children is also planned and there will also be a children’s section on the information boards featuring a treasure trail for them to follow in the town.
“It’s quite an expensive strategy. We have received draft costs but it’s something we won’t achieve in one full swoop.
“We need to work with the steering committee in each of the three towns, the traders and councils to work out what is most important to prioritise.
Cllrs Sarah Dunne and Margaret Croke called for Butler Trail signage for Carrick-on-Suir to be also erected on the route from Rosslare to Waterford and on the start of the Waterford/Dublin motorway at Grannagh, Waterford.
Mr Hughes said this signage was not part of the strategy at the moment but it would definitely be considered.
The signage strategy was also going to be amended to include signs for bus and rail, she continued.
Ms Hughes reported that the Butler Trail has attracted huge interest from the Irish Tour Operators Association though she didn’t think the trail would become a visible success overnight.
It was a project they would have to continue to work on.