Pierce Kavanagh, Caoimhe Kavanagh and Oliver Sharkey at Kavanagh's in Urlingford PICTURE: Vicky Comerford
Urlingford-based coach tour operator Pierce Kavanagh Coaches launched their first coach tour of the 2021 season on Sunday, operating under strict Failte Ireland Covid-19 Safety Charter guidelines.
It has been an especially difficult two years for the Irish coach tourism industry, with no international business since autumn of 2019, and domestic business running at less than 5%.
Kilkenny TD John McGuiness, and Tipperary TDs Jackie Cahill and Mattie McGrath stopped by to show their support for the local company on the morning of departure.
TDs Jackie Cahill, John McGuinness and Mattie McGrath enjoy an ice-cream on the day
Caoimhe Kavanagh of Pierce Kavanagh Coaches said pre-pandemic, Irish coach tourism employed over 11,500 people in Ireland, contributed over €370 million to the economy and carried over two million people around Ireland on holidays.
Ms Kavanagh said that TDs Jackie Cahill and John McGuinness had played a vital part ensuring an initial survival grant aid package was approved by the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Michael McGrath in Budget 2021 for the industry, and they have continued to remain a vital communication link between the coach transport industry and Government.
The guests on the first coach tour out in months were in for another surprise in Urlingford, when newly-elected Mayor of Kilkenny Andrew Mc Guinness stepped onboard to say hello and thank the passengers for choosing to travel with a Kilkenny business and local employer.
Mayor Andrew McGuinness with a group delighted to be heading away on holidays to Kerry for the first time in 12 months
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