independent

Monday 19 August 2019

Roll out of fully accessible Hook tour bus is welcomed

Willie Fitzharris, Cllr.Anthony Connick, Cathy Keane,Heritage tours Wexford, Sean Connick, CEO Dunbrody Trust, Cathaoirleach John Fleming, Verona Murphy, Cllr Brídin Murphy and Walter O’Leary, Dunbrody Trust Chairman
Willie Fitzharris, Cllr.Anthony Connick, Cathy Keane,Heritage tours Wexford, Sean Connick, CEO Dunbrody Trust, Cathaoirleach John Fleming, Verona Murphy, Cllr Brídin Murphy and Walter O’Leary, Dunbrody Trust Chairman

David Looby

A new fully accessible tour bus for the Hook Peninsula has been launched.

The 16-seater Heritage Tours Wexford bus was launched on the quay in New Ross by Dunbrody Visitor Centre CEO Sean Connick.

Cathy Keane of Heritage Tours Wexford said the bus is unique in the county.

The Galway native took the bold business decision to operate a tourist bus on the Hook Peninsula, having seen the area's potential to be a tourism boom spot.

'For a good number of years I've been very busy promoting Wexford as a destination. I certainly feel it's the hidden gem of Ireland's Ancient East. This year is the 850th anniversary of the coming of the Normans.

'It's a huge event. I have now purchased a new wheelchair accessible bus. It's a 16 seater, but with a wheelchair accessible person onboard there are 12 seats.'

Cathy said as it's the first ever wheelchair accessible bus to the Hook it will open up new avenues for people who in the past hadn't been able to.

'Three times a week I run my Hook highlights tour and that is bookable on a seat by seat basis from May to October, so you don't have to be in a group to purchase a seat.

'It runs from the tourist office in Wexford town and I visit the Dunbrody Famine Ship which is now wheelchair accessible, you can get on a lift to the famine ship. Tintern Abbey, the periphery is wheelchair accessible. We also visit Loftus Hall.'

Cathy runs nine different tours in total on her bus throughout places of historical interest in the south east.

With a background in hotel and tour management, Cathy has always had an interest in tourism.

When she moved to Enniscorthy she couldn't believe the history that was in the town.

'When I scratched the surface I discovered all of the history of Wexford and I run a town bus tour in Enniscorthy which takes two and a half hours and it takes in Vinegar Hill which is now wheelchair accessible to the public, which is wonderful.'

The bus is the only wheelchair accessible tour bus on the Hook, of the type of tours I conduct which is history and fact based and with a bit of dressing up.

'We have a little bit of role playing with Aoife, William Marshal, Isobel and other famous personalities from the time. There are costumes you can throw on.'

Cathy is also promoting her business on Facebook, Twitter and on the Fáilte Ireland website also.

New Ross Standard

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