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Ireland's Ancient East: First signs for new tourism region unveiled

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Pictured at Ireland's Ancient East Orientation Sign at Wicklow Gaol are Fáilte Ireland's Ruairi Deane, Programme Manager Ireland Ancient East and Jenny De Saulles, Head of Ireland’s Ancient with Mary Morris, Matron of the Gaol. Picture: Patrick Browne.

Pictured at Ireland's Ancient East Orientation Sign at Wicklow Gaol are Fáilte Ireland's Ruairi Deane, Programme Manager Ireland Ancient East and Jenny De Saulles, Head of Ireland’s Ancient with Mary Morris, Matron of the Gaol. Picture: Patrick Browne.

Pictured are Kate O'Keeffe, aka Mrs White; Cliona Barrett, aka Mrs O'Brien and Jenny De Saulles, Head of Ireland's Ancient East, Fáilte Ireland. [Photo: Pat Moore]

Pictured are Kate O'Keeffe, aka Mrs White; Cliona Barrett, aka Mrs O'Brien and Jenny De Saulles, Head of Ireland's Ancient East, Fáilte Ireland. [Photo: Pat Moore]

Ireland's Ancient East. Map: Fáilte Ireland

Ireland's Ancient East. Map: Fáilte Ireland

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Pictured at Ireland's Ancient East Orientation Sign at Wicklow Gaol are Fáilte Ireland's Ruairi Deane, Programme Manager Ireland Ancient East and Jenny De Saulles, Head of Ireland’s Ancient with Mary Morris, Matron of the Gaol. Picture: Patrick Browne.

The first orientation signs for Ireland's Ancient East have been unveiled at attractions in Wicklow and Wexford.

The new signs, unveiled by Fáilte Ireland as it begins bringing its new touring route to life, are located at Wicklow Gaol, Dunbrody Famine Ship and Ferris Castle.

Similar, Celtic spiral-themed signs, which inform visitors of things to see and do within an hour's drive in every direction, are expected to be in place at 80 key sites throughout the region by the end of the year, it says.

“For too long, most overseas tourists have seen the south east, midlands and north east as a region to travel to for a day or simply just to travel through," said Fáilte Ireland’s Head of Ireland’s Ancient East, Jenny De Saulles.

"Ireland’s Ancient East seeks to change all that by creating enough ‘stickiness’ and points of curiosity that visitors will slow down, explore and stay overnight."

Fáilte Ireland is investing €20 million this year in the much-anticipated follow up to its Wild Atlantic Way touring route.

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Pictured are Kate O'Keeffe, aka Mrs White; Cliona Barrett, aka Mrs O'Brien and Jenny De Saulles, Head of Ireland's Ancient East, Fáilte Ireland. [Photo: Pat Moore]

Pictured are Kate O'Keeffe, aka Mrs White; Cliona Barrett, aka Mrs O'Brien and Jenny De Saulles, Head of Ireland's Ancient East, Fáilte Ireland. [Photo: Pat Moore]

Pictured are Kate O'Keeffe, aka Mrs White; Cliona Barrett, aka Mrs O'Brien and Jenny De Saulles, Head of Ireland's Ancient East, Fáilte Ireland. [Photo: Pat Moore]

As the proposition takes shape, distinctive orange road signs have been cropping up, and a consumer website - irelandsancienteast.com - has launched.

However, the region's sprawling geography - encompassing 17 counties and attractions ranging from Cavan to Cobh - has also attracted its share of criticism.

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