Blarney village needs ‘overdue’ investment
Urgent investment is needed to promote tourism in an “overlooked” Cork village according to a local councillor.
Independent Cllr Kenneth O’Flynn has called on the Government to commit “overdue” investment to Blarney village's tourism industry as visitor numbers to the area continue towards pre-Covid levels.
According to Cllr O’Flynn, the average time spent by visitors in Blarney is currently only one and a half hours, including a visit to the Blarney Woollen Mills, with little time to experience the other attractions in the village.
“Blarney village is underinvested, and key infrastructure - including a full-time tourist office - is minimal,” said Cllr O’Flynn.
He added: “I believe the Government has significantly underestimated the potential of the Blarney brand, one of Cork's most significant tourism draws. If Blarney was anywhere else in the country, they would be a state of the art interactive interpretive centre and anchor project to draw people from far and wide.”
Cllr O’Flynn said Blarney, home to the famous Blarney Castle and the Blarney Stone, has international recognition and is a powerful draw for visitors from around the world.
He believes with investment, Cork City Council could promote the rich history and culture of the region and provide visitors with an immersive experience that will encourage them to stay overnight and contribute positively to the local economy.
He continued: “It is time for the Government to recognize this and invest in the tourism industry to unlock the village's full potential. I truly appreciate the tremendous work of Frida Hayes, Blarney Woollen Mills and other key stakeholders. However, we also need to explore other opportunities to keep the tourists overnight and become a destination for travel enthusiasts from around the world.
“Therefore, we urge the Government to invest in Blarney village by creating a state of the art interpretative centre, supporting small businesses, and providing a full time tourist office," he concluded.