The official opening of the Nenagh Tourist Office took place on Thursday, May 19. The office was opened by Cathaoirleach of Nenagh Municipal District Michael O’ Meara and award-winning writer Donal Ryan.
The new tourist office was blessed by Fr Des Hillery, who took the opportunity to acknowledge Rev Rod Smyth, who is retiring from the Nenagh district.
Located in Nenagh’s historical and cultural quarter, Mr O’Meara says the office will promote Nenagh as part of Hidden Heartlands and the Lough Derg area.
However, he also says it’s more than that. He paid tribute to the collaboration between Tipperary County Council and artists, tradespeople, and the people of Nenagh who donated pieces for the exhibits.
“I know the tourist office will enhance the offering in the area for visitors and tourists alike. But it does more than this; it is a celebration of Nenagh, its heritage, its culture and ladies and gentleman, its people,” said Mr O’Meara.
He also welcomed the new tourist guide, Victoria Lee. Speakers on the evening also included designer Anne Scroope, Tipperary County Council Chief Executive Joe MacGrath.
Mr MacGrath said the new tourist office is a new beginning and an opportunity to tell the story of Nenagh.
“Fundamentally, what distinguishes Nenagh or any other area is the story it tells. That’s your story, and nobody else can tell that story. For me, we need to be captivated by it and understand it is the story of generations of this town and this area,” said Mr McGrath.
Donal Ryan contributed his words to the tourist office both in a display and the opening ceremony.
A passage of his work is printed on the door, and he is the inspiration behind the I heart Nenagh sign.
His books are also on display on the bookshelf in the office.
On the evening, he spoke of Nenagh, home and the purpose of the tourist office.
“My heart is here not just because it is my home but because it is such a beautiful place. But Nenagh doesn’t always recognise its beauty, its own specialness, its own importance, and that is why this place is so important.
“It will serve as a reminder, a tribute and a shrine to everything that’s great about Nenagh and its sparkling hinterlands,” said Mr Ryan.
The final speaker was Ann Scroope of Scroope design. She spoke about the design consultation process, the takeaway of which was a love for Nenagh.
“It’s not a museum, but I think we can agree it’s more than a tourist office. It is information and imagination. It’s a visual conversation, witty, nuanced, colourful and memorable.
“It is exactly what you would experience in Nenagh,” said Ms Scroope.
Nenagh District Administrator, Rosemary Joyce, said the ceremony was a celebration of achievement.
Ms Joyce thanked all those who contributed and created pieces to bring the tourist office to life.
This included those who donated pieces and did work on the building and the artists, including Paul Finch, Josephine Geaney, Lynn Kirkham, Geradine Wisdom and Reggie Goodbody.
The tourist office has been open since December 2021.
Its official opening ceremony was delayed until last week due to the covid-19 pandemic.
Full picture caption: Victoria Lee, Tourist Information Officer; Lynn Kirkham, artist (hare, rook & dragonfly); Rosemary Joyce, District Administrator; Paul Finch, artist (Hurling Chair, Lough Derg Monster & Molecular Structure of Water); Gerardine Wisdom, artist (Cocoons & Lampshade). Photo by Bridget Delaney
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