Rossadrehid wins great boost for tourism

The picturesque village of Rossadrehid in the Glen of Aherlow makes the Failte Ireland Tourism Towns Award 2013 long-list. Photo of the grotto with Village shop. (Photo Caitriona Kenny)
Rossadrehid has won a place in the long-list of 45 towns and villages from across the country that is being considered by Fáilte Ireland for the 2013 Tourism Towns Award.

Rossadrehid has won a place in the long-list of 45 towns and villages from across the country that is being considered by Fáilte Ireland for the 2013 Tourism Towns Award.

Now in its second year, the award is designed to recognise Irish towns and villages where the local community goes the extra mile to enhance their appeal to tourists. The top ten towns each receive €1,000 with the eventual winner receiving a further €10,000, accompanied by marketing and development supports from Fáilte Ireland.

Rossadrehid village in the Glen of Aherlow is one of only two Co. Tipperary places to make the long-list; the other is Cashel. Galbally Village, at the other end of the Glen also made the list as the only place in Co. Limerick.

Julie Walsh who has been heading-up Rossadrehid Tidy Towns is absolutely thrilled with the announcement.

“I couldn’t believe it that our little village could do so well. We work hard to keep the village looking well and we’re always trying to improve things; we’re absolutely delighted.”

The application procedure focused on four key tourism areas: Sense of Place – How the town tells its own unique story to visitors, what’s special about it, and what distinguishes it from other towns? 

Local Involvement - How the local community works together to provide an authentic visitor experience?

Tourism Products Available – What the town has to offer visitors?

And development and promotion of the town – How the town takes a unified approach to marketing and developing the town into a tourism town?

Rossadrehid sits fondly in the memory of many adults in and around Tipperary who used to go to Rossadrehid as a child and enjoy picnics by the rivers.

The application submitted outlined Rossadrehid’s three picnic areas, the Wildlife Area that boasts otters, mink and wild flowers, St. Berrihert’s Holy Healing Well and Kyle, the history of the village shop and the gateway village to Lake Muskry.

“Rossadrehid as it is today, is a beautiful picturesque village that offers a place to relax and ‘get away from it all’. A place to enjoy the songs of its rivers, to feel its soothing waters between your toes, to be a child again, get an ice-cream at the local shop and to share the story of ‘Ol Nag’ at Lake Muskry

The village sits within the greater of Galtymore Peak and the Glen of Aherlow area with its rich history around the great war of independence and also the legends and myths about nearby Lake Muskry. Lake Muskry, formerly known a Lough Beal Sead - The Lake of the Jewel Mouth, has also been identified as, ‘Loch Beal Dragan’ - The Lake of the Dragon’s Mouth’. Its present name, Lough Muskry comes from the Muscraighe sept that lived in the south of Ireland.

The lake is said to have been formed on the spot where Cliach the harper stood for a year to serenade his beloved, the daughter Bodhbh of Slievenamon. It is also mentioned in one of the Shannon legend stories where the ‘Ol Nag’ or great serpent was banished by St. Patrick from Connaught and confined to Lake Muskry. In recent years, whilst re-arranging the water pipes from the Lake to Tipperary Town, it was rumoured that the serpent might escape down through the pipes and burn up the town…”

The top ten Highly Commended Tourism Towns will be announced at the National Tidy Towns Awards later in the year and the overall winner to be announced in November.