€1m for Ancient East tourism plan
Ireland's Ancient East
A Celtic tree experience, three-dimensional Vikings and a host of heritage trails are just some of the tourist developments being funded under the next stage of the Ireland's Ancient East initiative.
Ten counties are to share in €1m that is being allocated to build and develop a range of new attractions that will tell the country's story.
Tourism Minister Paschal Donohoe will today announce grants for the New Ideas in Ancient Spaces project, bringing total spend on the initiative to €2.26m.
Fáilte Ireland wants to recreate the success of the Wild Atlantic Way on the west coast with a history and heritage trail that stretches along the eastern side of the country from Carlingford, Co Louth, down through Newgrange, pictured, and the Boyne Valley to Cork.
Among the more eye-catching initiatives getting funding is a 3D Viking experience for Waterford.
This will complement existing tourist access to Reginald's Tower and bring a new added dimension to Waterford's Viking Triangle.
Visitors will be able to see an epic voyage from Norway, an attack on an Irish monastery, the founding of Waterford - and the impact of the Vikings on Ireland's history and culture.
In Meath, 'Ireland's Ancient Eats' will provide an immersive food experience that tells the story of "old school" traditional methods of food production in Ireland.
Three separate projects in Cork will share nearly €290,000. The largest single grant is for the Clockgate Tower in Youghal.
It will create a permanent interpretative exhibition over four floors of the clock tower.
Visitors will be able handle goods and ledgers, sit in a cell, listen to the sounds of street brawls and of rebellion, manipulate models, ask and answer questions and engage directly with the storytellers. An audio-visual companion will be available for non-English speakers.
Heritage trails are to be established in Laois, Cobh, Wexford, Tipperary and Monaghan.
Mr Donohoe said the projects will help "maintain the momentum of this initiative and build on the impressive tourism assets we have in the east and south of the country".
"As this project evolves and grows, I am confident that it will be a perfect complement to the Wild Atlantic Way in the west and that it will generate significant additional visitors, revenue and tourism jobs in the east," he said.
The funding comes as Fáilte Ireland prepares to install around 100 'Ireland's Ancient East' orientation signs and 300 county boundary signs across the region in 2016.
Fáilte Ireland director of business development, Paul Keeley, said it is working with communities to turn the promise of the Ireland's Ancient East brand into a reality.
He also said it will have readied the region to deliver first- class experiences to visitors by next summer.