Despite a national decline, tourism figures continued to boom in Kilkenny, especially in the city, in 1971 - 50 years ago this week
Here's what made the news in the Kilkenny People from August 27, 1971 - 50 years ago this week
Tourism in Kilkenny continues to boom despite the sharp national decline in the industry. And the city remains one of the few growth centres left in the country.
Last year there was a dramatic surprise when south East Tourism statistics showed that of the 14 principal centres in the region, Kilkenny was one of three to have an increase in enquiries and one of four to have an increase in bed nights.
So far this year Kilkenny appears to be maintaining its progress against the odds.
For June and July the number of bed nights booked through the South East Tourism’s room reservation service dropped from 21,068 to 18,758.
But in Kilkenny there has been an increase from 1,599 to 1,671.
The number of enquiries at SET’s tourist information caravan in Kilkenny has dropped from 6,593 to 4,312 for June and July. But unlike last year, Beer Festival enquiries, which this year totalled over 3,000 have not been included. So, in fact, the number of enquiries is up considerably.
Exact weekly figures for August are not available yet and until the numbers for the entire month have been totalled no comparisons can be made with August of last year.
But the volume of business at the information caravan on the Parade has been heavy. On average, 270 bednights a week have been booked since the beginning of the month and enquiries have been running at approximately 1,100 a week.
The tendency seems to be that more tourists are staying inland rather than travelling to seaside resorts. And more of them are staying in Kilkenny than ever before.
BIG CHANCE FOR GRAIG?
Graignamanagh may be at the point of a major breakthrough in tourism development.
Picturesque Duiske Abbey, one of the most notable and historic Cistercian foundations in Ireland, may soon be restored.
If the decision is taken to go ahead then Graig could well become a new focal point in the tourist development of the region. This has already happened in the case of the restoration of Ballintubber Abbey in the West, and Continental visitors, coach tour operators and travel organisers are always anxious to detour to places of major historical interest.
The decision on whether to go ahead with the restoration will shortly be taken by the Graig parishioners.
It is understood that if they decide to go ahead, the scheme will have the approval of Most Rev Dr Lennon, Bishop of Kildare and Leighlin.
REFUGEES RETURN HOME
Following the lull in street fighting in Northern Ireland, refugees at Kilkenny are gradually making their way home.
Of the 360 terror-stricken refugees who arrived in Kilkenny two weeks ago only 120 remain. Many more are expected to return to the North shortly.
An army spokesman at Kilkenny Barracks explained that the exodus from the North has ceased and the only newcomers to Kilkenny in the past week were relatives of the refugees.
Concerned about the present Northern Ireland crisis, three young people handed in a petition signed by 1,005 people at the British Embassy on Saturday. The signatures were collected in towns and villages throughout Co Kilkenny and Waterford.
The petition called for the immediate removal of British troops from Northern Ireland and the enforcement of the Taoiseach’s statement demanding the abolition of Stormont.
The petition also called for a United Nations peace keeping corps to patrol the streets of the North.
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