18 May 2022

Tipperary's blueways are making global waves with new accreditation

Tipperary's blueways are making global waves with new accreditation

At the launch of the Suir Blueway Tipperary, Willie Morgan, Clonmel Canoe Club; Anna Grant, Sports Ireland; Valerie Connolly, Tipperary Sports Partnership; Joe MacGrath, CEO, Tipperary County Council;

The Lough Derg Blueway and the Suir Blueway Tipperary have been announced as two of the first Blueways in the world to achieve accreditation.

The Lough Derg Blueway features 160km of shoreline trails around Lough Derg in the centre of Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands.

The 53km Suir Blueway Tipperary stretches from Cahir to Carrick- On- Suir.

The announcement has been welcomed by Tipperary chief executive Joe MacGrath.

“Tipperary County Council welcomes the formal accreditation for Lough Derg Blueway, confirming the excellence to which this Blueway has been developed and managed since its launch in 2018,” he said.

Mr MacGrath said that it was fitting that Lough Derg Blueway was one of the first blueways in Ireland to receive formal accreditation together with its sister blueway, Suir Blueway Tipperary.

“Blueways have become a differentiator for county Tipperary, driving substantial tourism growth and benefiting the wellbeing of communities at a local level,” he said.

The county manager pointed out that Tipperary had so much to offer in terms of beautiful landscapes, fascinating cultural and historical sites and stories, and some of the best food produce in Ireland.

“This special status designates Lough Derg Blueway as a world class destination for water based and water side activity and we look forward to welcoming many new visitors to the blueway in the coming months and years ahead,” he said.

Cllr Michael O’Meara, cathaoirleach of Nenagh Municipal District Council also welcomed the announcement.

“I see this as part of an overall package in relation to Ireland's Hidden Heartlands and its expansion into Offaly and Galway,” he said.

Cllr O’Meara said this would be a “huge thing” for his own area of Lorrha and Lower Ormond.

He also said that he was talking to his counterparts in Offaly and Galway to package what they had to offer.

Blueways encourage the use of lakes, canals, rivers and coastal environments for walking, cycling, swimming, kayaking, stand up paddle boarding while engaging with nature and heritage.

The Blueway accreditation has been developed by Fáilte Ireland, Sport Ireland, Waterways Ireland, Sport Northern Ireland and Tourism Northern Ireland.

An official accreditation will ensure all Blueways will be developed to a consistent high standard from a technical and safety perspective and will deliver best in class sustainable visitor experiences.

The Tipperary blueways join the Boyne Blueway in Trim, county Meath in receiving the accreditation.

“These accredited blueways are another outstanding addition to our portfolio of outdoor activity infrastructure. They will tap into domestic and international activity and leisure tourism markets, reaping economic benefits for Tipperary, Clare, Galway and Meath,” said Fáilte Ireland CEO Paul Kelly at the launch.

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