‘Tourism key economic driver for us’

Addressing the recent Suck Valley Way Conference at the Abbey Hotel, Roscommon County Council Chief Executive Shane Tiernan said tourism continues to play a key role within the local economy.

“Roscommon is a predominantly rural county and tourism is a key economic driver within our communities. Suck Valley Way is one of the 12 trails which make up the Beara Breffni Way – the main walking trails of Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands,” he said.

“Our walking trails are a key feature of Roscommon’s tourism offering, with over 20 trials ranging in length of 1 km to over 100 km available for both local and the tourist to explore. The Suck Valley Way, as one of the longest walking trails in the county is a key feature of our offerings”.

Mr. Tiernan highlighted an increase in the number of visitors to the Suck Valley Way in recent years with an average of 2,300 people visiting the amenity each month in peak season.

“In 2022 alone, a total of 23,778 visitors trekked the Suck Valley Way. This demonstrates the route is no longer hidden but must certainly in the heartland of the Midlands and West,” he said.

The Council CEO said the funding from the local authority continues to support a number of local tourism projects.

“Roscommon County Council continues to invest heavily in the development of many tourism projects in our county including the Boyle to Lough Key Cycling Way, Destinations Town Boyle and the Arigna Energy Discovery Park. There is also the connecting cycleway from Mote Park to Suck Valley Way as well as many other walking trails throughout our county,” he said.

As well as local trails and tourist sites, the Council has also sought to develop cultural centres such as King House, Boyle, The Douglas Hyde Centre, Roscommon Arts Centre and the Trinity Arts Centre.

“Just Transition funding of €68 million for Regenerative Tourism in Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands offer a unique opportunity to develop the servicing tourism sector, such as accommodations which will complement trails such as the Suck Valley Way,” Mr. Tiernan added.