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The people behind the new 'east coast' tourism drive left Louth off their map

A Louth TD was unhappy at the county being left off the map for ‘Ireland’s Ancient East’.

Updated 3pm

A NEW TOURISM initiative that is being billed as the east coast’s response to the ‘Wild Atlantic Way’ was launched yesterday.

‘Ireland’s Ancient East’ aims to deliver as many as 600,000 overseas visitors to the east of the country by 2020.

However one Louth-based TD felt that organisers at Fáilte Ireland had made a bit of an oversight when drawing up the map.

The map issued by the tourism board appears to exclude Co Louth from the sites that will be focused on during the initiative. The most northernly landmark is for the Battle of the Boyne – which took place in Co Meath.

ireland's ancient east Source: Failte Ireland

To view a larger version of the map click here. 

In response to this, Fáilte Ireland has made it clear that Louth will very much be part of the initiative, and that it will be, “geared to maximise the history and heritage in Louth”.

Speaking today, Director of Business Development with Fáilte Ireland, Paul Keeley, said:

With attractions such as Mellifont Abbey, Carlingford’s Medieval town, Drogheda’s Cromwellian history, Cúchulainn’s Stone, Monasterboice and Castle Roche – to name but a few -  Louth ticks all the boxes with regard to the main themes of Ireland’s Ancient East with ancient, early Christian, Medieval and Anglo-Irish sites all within reach.

Despite the acknowledgement of Louth’s importance to the overall initaitive, Fine Gael’s Fergus O’Dowd told TheJournal.ie:

The key point is that it is the map that needs to change. [It] needs to change so that we have Carlingford, Drogheda and other locations on it.

O’Dowd also expressed a feeling that Northern Ireland should be included as part of the initiative, and that while he said Fáilte Ireland had done “fantastic work”, the oversight in the marketing had been a “huge mistake”.

The overall reach of ‘Ireland’s Ancient East’ is said to extend from “Carlingford to Cork and from Cavan to Carnsore”.

It is currently described as a “evolving initiative” and businesses and communities in the relevant region will be consulted with over the course of its implementation.

Read: The east’s answer to the Wild Atlantic Way is ‘Ireland’s Ancient East’

Open Thread:  Where should tourists visit off the beaten track in ‘Ireland’s Ancient East’?

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