Cork County Council together with The Select Vestry of St. Mary’s Collegiate Church hosted a ‘showcase’ of the magnificent heritage tourism offering in ‘The Raleigh Quarter’, Emmet Place, Youghal on Thursday 9th June 2016 at 6.30 pm. The event was organised to demonstrate the extensive range of attractions that are on Youghal’s doorstep and to urge locals to be the ones to ‘sell’ this wealth of attractions to visitors, having experienced the attraction at first hand.
The Raleigh Quarter incorporates a town walls walk, graveyard trail, medieval gardens and also guided tours of St. Mary’s Collegiate Church Youghal. It is envisaged the area will give visitors even MORE of a reason to visit Youghal and stay for longer.
Speaking at the event, Aileen Murray, Manager of The Youghal Socio-Economic Development Group emphasized just how important 2016 was for Youghal in terms of tourism. “Youghal has been designated by Failte Ireland as being one of the key destinations on the ‘Ireland’s Ancient East’ umbrella brand – as Youghal has so much to offer visitors in terms of his unique story and heritage. Said Aileen. “With thousands of extra visitors due to this country, Youghal is looking to claim its slice of the pie! Ireland’s Ancient East is set to rival The Wild Atlantic Way in terms of drawing visitor numbers to the region, drawing higher spending, international visitors to the region. The Raleigh Quarter area of Youghal has seen significant investment from both The Heritage Council of Ireland and Cork County Council in the past 10 years. We have now reached a point where we want everyone else to know about our hidden treasure”.
The event took place on the same day RTE Radio One’s Morning Ireland roving Report Cian McCormack concluded his cycle around Ireland’s Ancient East with a series of recordings from Youghal. It is expected this will be the first in a series of national media exposures for the town and it’s unrivalled heritage. The large gathering also heard from Ken Brookes representing the Select Vestry who took the opportunity to commend Cork County Council, and its predecessor Youghal Town Council for its vision and commitment to St. Mary’s Collegiate Church and Gardens since the local authority took guardianship back in 2007.
The event included a guided tour of the Church, by volunteer, Pat Shackleton. In concluding her tour, Pat urged the community to get behind the huge opportunity presented in the Raleigh Quarter. “It is important that the entire community gets behind this wonderful opportunity for Youghal.!
Helen Mulcahy of Cork County Council’s East Cork Municipal District then took the group on a walking tour of the Graveyard Trail, Town Walls and College Gardens.
August will also see the opening of the Clockgate Tower as a visitor attraction which is set to also deliver a major boost to the town and only add to the offering for visitors.
Guided tours of the St. Mary’s Collegiate Church are available at 11.00 am and 2.30 pm on a daily basis. However, tours can be arranged at any time outside of these hours. Tours cost €3.50 pp and last approx 30 minutes. (Group rates available). All other attractions including access to the Church, town walls, gardens and graveyard trail are free.