More investment should be made in rural tourism and not just in the city, local councillors argue.
“Can you do anything more for the rest of the county?” Cllr Michael O’Brien (Lab) asked representatives from Kilkenny Tourism who made a presentation at the monthly meeting of Kilkenny County Council.
“You receive public money for the whole of County Kilkenny,” he said. “I can’t see anything in that that is of benefit anywhere except the city.”
Cllr Sean Treacy (FF) agreed, saying that 25% of the county’s population lives in the city. “Seventy-five per cent of the budget should be spent where 75% of the people are and I don’t see anything here that reflects that,” he said.
Kilkenny Tourism chairman Colin Ahern responded by noting that their presentation was merely “an overview of what we do” and that the organisation’s remit was marketing rather than development.
“We have no development facility at all. We are simply there marketing what information our members give us to market,” he said. “The ones based in Kilkenny city are far more active in giving us information to go out and sell Kilkenny.”
He noted, however, the organisation’s marketing of Woodstock Gardens and Jerpoint Abbey; and Clodagh O’Brien of Kilkenny Tourism added that their receipt of funding through Kilkenny Leader Partnership reflects their work in the county outside of the city.
“A lot of work has been done to redress the imbalance,” she said.