Subject: LETTER TO THE EDITOR, THE CORKMAN —
29 August 2008
IN SUPPORT OF JERRY SHEEHAN
I agree totally with Jerry Sheehan’s critique of official tourist bodies and their lack of support and appreciation for the tourist potential of areas outside the ‘honey pots’ such as Blarney and Killarney (Corkman, 28/8/08).
What makes Jerry’s case even stronger is that the unique Country Park he has created lies exactly halfway between both these tourist spots and all are directly connected by the first tourist project ever created in Ireland – the Cork-Killarney Turnpike road opened on 1st May 1748. His Park could, quite literally, be the centre of a new tourist product.
This road was built by John Murphy of Castleisleand who first saw the tourist potential of Killarney’s lakes and Blarney castle and created a road that joined them – which it still does – for those who know it. That road later thrived as the historic Butter Road for well over a century;
This road connects historic and cultural centres such as Shandon, Blarney, Tower, Mathey, Rylane, Mushera and Sliabh Luachra. There is a myriad historic and archaeological site along its route as well as new attractions such as the new International Golf Course at Tower, the Millstreet Country Park itself and the Green Glens in Millstreet.
The road and environs is also ideal for environmental friendly tourism and activities such as road, hill and mountain walking as well as appreciating the wildlife or simply enjoying the sheer scenic beauty.
It is a perfect introduction, and is complementary, to Killarney and the Ring of Kerry. Its development and promotion could add a new dimension to tourism in the South West and add to the variety available.
Fáilte Ireland and others have indicated the potential of adding the Butter Road and what it has to offer to the tourist products available to visitors but it has yet to even appear on any tourist map or brochure. Why? Surely that would not be too difficult or expensive to arrange? The Butter Museum in Shandon is rightly promoted – so why not the Butter Road?