New app promotes Lingaun Valley heritage sites in Tipperary and Kilkenny

New app promotes Lingaun Valley heritage sites in Tipperary and Kilkenny

Knockroe Passage Tomb near Ahenny is one of the heritage sites featured in the app

A tourism group promoting the Lingaun Valley has helped produce a free smartphone app to promote the Knockroe Passage Tomb near Ahenny and two of the valley’s other important heritage sites.
The “augmented reality” smartphone application allows tourists to see the Knockroe Passage Tomb, Kilkerian High Cross and its monastic complex and Killamery High Cross and cemetery as they were when first developed in ancient times.
The Lingaun Valley covers several south Tipperary communities including Ahenny, Faugheen, Grangemockler and Nine-Mile-House as well as a number of communities in south west Kilkenny.
The app has been brought out by Kilkenny LEADER Partnership in co-operation with the Lingaun Valley Tourism Group, a non-profit voluntary group striving to promote and develop the tourism potential of the valley’s rich 5,000 year history.
Kilkenny LEADER Partnership CEO Declan Rice told the app’s launch event at Kilkerian Cottage Restaurant at Skough near Carrick-on-Suir, that this was the first app of its type in Ireland and there were very few international examples.
“The Walton Institute of WIT has done a magnificent job on creating the app.  It allows any visitor with a smartphone to see a huge amount of dynamic images of the former appearance of these internationally prestigious sites,” he said.
Guest of honour at the launch was Professor Muiris O’Sullivan of UCD, who led the archaeological research of Knockroe Passage Tomb in the 1990s.  He praised the recently installed road signs designating entry to the Lingaun Valley and the AR app project.
Prof O’Sullivan explained how the Lingaun River, and Slievenamon mountain where its source sprung, was a special region to Neolithic people and the presence of high crosses in the valley were indicators of monastic settlement. 
Lingaun Valley Tourism Group chairman Frank Walsh said the app was an important addition to the interpretation of the Lingaun region’s many heritage sites. He praised the efforts of the local community in maintaining and developing the sites voluntarily.
Mr Walsh urged funders to understand the pressures on communities and change their funding rules to accommodate the lack of finances of the typical voluntary group, which all agencies and statutory groups rely on to lead projects.
The app is available on the Apple store and the equivalent on other smartphone makes.  There are plans to expand the app to feature additional sites within the Lingaun Valley.

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