Charlie Bird, the former RTÉ News Correspondent, launched the Mote Park Interactive Heritage Tour in Áras an Chontae, Roscommon County Council’s new civic offices, on Thursday, June 2nd.
The tour is done by using a mobile smart device with a QR code reader. Twelve points of heritage interest are brought to life through documentary interviews with locals, historians and biodiversity experts about various aspects of Mote Park, with beautiful video footage of the area.
Among the highlights is a video about the ruins of Mote Park Coach House, which highlights some of the architectural structures of the Crofton Estate that still remain in the park, on the outskirts of Roscommon town.
There is also a video about the site of Mote Park House: locals recount their memories of the house, and there is also a tour of the cellar ruins.
The product was the invention of Mote Park Conservation Group, while many state agencies provided financial assistance.
The videos were produced by Mimar Media. Martina Larkin, who jointly runs the company, explained how the videos could be accessed by a smart device.
“You download a scanner, basically a QR reader,” she said. “They are available for free on any of the app sites.
“When you download that, then you would be able to hold your phone and point it up at the QR code. When you come across a sign in the park with a QR code on it, you will see a video relating to the item of a historical or environmental interest in the area.
“They are quick videos, about three minutes long.”
Speaking on behalf of Roscommon County Council, Martin Lydon said that Mote Park was an “undiscovered gem” that was important as a recreational resource for the county town and its environs.
“Mote Park is a significant asset for Roscommon town and the entire county,” Mr. Lydon, Director of Services for Planning and Enterprise, said.
“The development of the Mote Park Heritage Walkway through the estate and across the looped woodland trail gives visitors the option to walk through Mote Park and discover its many landscapes.
“The Mote Park Heritage Tour is traditional, yet innovative through its use of QR codes. This approach is welcome by the Council and there is no doubt we will try to replicate it throughout the county.”
Mr. Bird said that he visited Mote Park for the first time last Thursday afternoon, just before the launch, and was highly impressed.
“I wasn’t certain what I was going to see, but when I got to the remains of the house and the cellars, I thought it was really something special,” he said.
“Sometimes, we don’t realise it ourselves that, on our front door, in our own backyard, there is something which is really unique and special.”
He applauded the community group behind the project.
“What you have done is what every one of us should be doing around the county: taking pride in where we live and giving something back to all of our communities,” Mr. Bird said.
‘We are destroying the environment’ – Bird
On a visit to Roscommon town last week, Charlie Bird, the former RTÉ News Correspondent, claimed that people were destroying the environment.
Mr. Bird said that Donald Trump, the presumptive US presidential nominee, was “wrong” to downplay the dangers of climate change.
“I think climate change is real,” Mr. Bird said, at the launch of the Mote Park Interactive Heritage Tour. “I am absolutely certain that it is real.
“And, if it is only the smallest thing that we do in our community, if it was only that one little thing that we start with, that’s what’s important: that every one of us instil upon ourselves that we must do something for our environment.”
Mr. Bird said that, as part of his documentary work, he had travelled recently to the North Pole and the South Pole. He said that both locations were being “destroyed” by nonenvironmentally-friendly practices elsewhere on the Earth.
“There are two refrigerators in the world: there is a refrigerator in the Arctic and there is a refrigerator in the Antartic, and we are messing up those refrigerators,” Mr. Bird said.
“As a world, that is what we are doing: we are destroying those refrigerators through the industrial revolution, by the pollution that we send up to the Arctic and also down to the Antartic. We are destroying the environment.
“We must do things to protect our environment.”