A CIT intern has been credited with re-branding Dunmanway as a tourism destination of choice.
At his last official function as County Mayor, Declan Hurley said the town’s new website, new brochure, information point, and Sam Maguire exhibition at Dunmanway’s new swimming pool complex is ‘the start of something beautiful for Dunmanway.’
One of Cllr Hurley’s first official functions was the opening of the fantastic state-of-the-art swimming pool and recreation facility just over a year ago, but the Independent councillor made the point that from here on in ‘our brand will be: Dunmanway, hometown of Sam Maguire.’
He said Dunmanway had, in many respects, stalled but it had – with the help of CIT intern, John Power – been given ‘a jump start.’ Cllr Hurley said: ‘The headlines are becoming more positive for the town and that is going to continue.’
He said various local groups had tried many times to do what had been achieved in recent months, but he admitted: ‘We never got it right, or over the line, but now we have hit the jackpot.’
Cllr Hurley credited Rev Cliff Jeffers with spearheading the latest group of projects, as well as the Community Bells project at St Mary’s Church, and helping to make it a success.
He said: ‘Coming from the Church of Ireland, that possibly has been what has been the missing link for many years in this project recognising Sam Maguire here in his hometown of Dunmanway.’
He said: ‘Rev Jeffers brought the whole project together, he brought all the community together through his work.’
He thanked the reverend for persuading CIT to agree to John Power doing his internship in Dunmanway, and Cork County Council for generously supporting all the new developments. The assistance of the GAA and Croke Park was also acknowledged.
Helen O’Reilly, the chairperson of Dunmanway Chamber of Commerce, agreed: ‘Having an outsider come to town and look at it with a pair of fresh eyes … means we can now promote Dunmanway and compete with other West Cork towns for tourists and day trippers.’
There is for example, she said, a windfarm walk, Funmanway, the West Cork Biscuit Factory, the Community Bells projects, and guided walking tours, as well as Sam Maguire’s homestead.
‘There are lots of things to do in Dunmanway and there is the added bonus that many of the attractions are free of charge.’