Cashel gets ready to host major European conference

The attractions of Tipperary will be showcased in a European conference held in Cashel this summer which will be attended by delegates from twenty seven countries.

The attractions of Tipperary will be showcased in a European conference held in Cashel this summer which will be attended by delegates from twenty seven countries.

Up to three hundred delegates from Europe will attend the annual Charter of European Rural Communities conference which is hosted by Cashel this year.

Ten delegates from each European country will stay in the Cashel area with host families in the town and outlying villages such as Dualla, Boherlahan and Golden.

A presentation on the event was made to members of South Tipperary County Council on Monday by the host organisers Shaun Leahy and Niall Gregory.

Mr Gregory said the conference provided an opportunity for Cashel and Tipperary to promote the area, its culture, its tourism attractions, local foodstuffs and industry.

He told members that the conference would not return for another twenty seven years and he hoped the area would avail of the chance to promote Cashel and Tipperary to delegates from twenty seven different countries.

Delegates will arrive in Cashel on Thursday, June 30 and will leave on the following Monday.

During the event the delegates will hold meetings to discuss the promotion of the European Charter and will also attend a programme of cultural and social events which are arranged.

A Euro Village will be established in the heart of Cashel for the event and among the activities organised are a Euro Song contest, a culinary evening to promote Tipperary food, a food fair, trade fairs, heritage tours, raft races in Golden, entertainment with the High Kings and Jack L.

Mr Gregory told the meeting that Cashel joined the European Charter when it was established in 1989. The event was hosted by Cashel in 1995 when just twelve countries were involved but the number of delegates had more than doubled because twenty seven countries were now involved...

He said it allowed the delegates from those countries to come together to engage in socio-economic conferences and projects giving Tipperary a direct influence on how the social structures of other communities across Europe are beneficiaries of their inclusion in the Charter.

“An example of this is how Cashel Gold Star Disability Award Scheme formed a central part of the conference in Poland last year. This is being fed directly into forthcoming policies from Brussels from which all countries will be beneficiaries.” he said.

He could not put a value on the event for Cashel and Tipperary but said that the cost of hosting the event was €150,000 and it was obvious that the town and Tipperary was going to get “much, much more out of it than that,” he said.

The members were informed that Cashel Town Council had donated €39,000 and they would be receiving €5,000 from Alza Cordis and another €5,000 from private soures. They had a shortfall of €65,000 which they were hoping to raise.

Mr Leahy told the members that there would be a national launch on March 23 and over the five day event there would be a large number of volunteers working to ensure the flagship event is a success.

County Council Chairman Sean McCarthy said the European Charter was an important conference and everybody was looking forward to it. He praised the organisers for the enormous work they were putting in and thanked Cashel Town Council for making such a generous contribution in these difficult times.

Cllr. Michael Fitzgerald said that the delegates should be brought around the area to Coolmore, Cahir Castle and other places of interest if time allowed.

Cllr. Tom Wood said Cashel hosted the event before but it was now a daunting task because so many countries were involved..

“”It’s a major showcase not just for Cashel and Tipperary but for the whole country,” said Cllr. Wood.

He believed the conference provided an opportunity to strengthen the links between people from other European countries living in the Cashel area with the community..

“Hopefully the conference will encourage people living here from other European countries to get involved in local organisations as volunteers,” he said.