Potential of the River Suir at Golden for tourism yet to be fully realised – Ní Riada



Cllr Martin Browne of Sinn Féin Tipperary has welcomed Sinn Féin MEP Liadh Ní Riada to County Tipperary to talk with representatives of the Angling community. Following her visit, MEP Ní Riada has said that the potential of the River Suir to support the development of angling tourism has yet to be fully realised. She made the comments following a visit to Golden this week.

Liadh Ní Riada said: “Golden is a beautiful village in an area of outstanding scenery. Its location close to Cashel and its proximity to the main Dublin – Cork motorway mean that it is accessible for domestic and foreign tourists alike.”

As a member of the European Parliament Committee on Fisheries I have taken a keen interest in the potential for the further development of angling as both a sport and a lure for tourism.”

Rural Ireland is crying out for investment and for job opportunities. The development of sustainable tourism, based on our greatest natural assets, would be a fantastic boon for rural communities, not least here in Co. Tipperary.”

I will continue to work alongside Cllr. Martin Browne and with all stakeholders to work towards a sustainable, clean and vibrant tourism offering for anglers that benefits the community and rural economy.”

Cllr Martin Browne adds: “In one of the most historic and one of the most beautiful counties in Ireland, we have a significant opportunity in terms of a unique angling experience. The potential of tourism has never been doubted, and I compliment the members of Cashel/Golden Anglers Association on their work. We received a short tour from Owen Jackman who is Secretary of the Association and were impressed with the commitment of the Association to maintaining the environment.”

The potential for employment in any environmentally friendly tourism industry should not be overlooked.”


2017-07-20: Owen Jackman, Secretary of Cashel/Golden Tipperary Anglers Association explains the potential of angling tourism to Sinn Féin Councillor Martin Browne, MEP Liadh Ní Riada, and to Ciara McCormack of Mid-Tipperary Sinn Féin.
2017-07-20: Owen Jackman, Secretary of Cashel/Golden Tipperary Anglers Association and Sinn Féin MEP Liadh Ní Riada. Mr Jackman gave Ms Ní Riada a fly-fishing lure as a keepsake.

Public transport is public service – Martin Kenny TD

Speaking in Leinster House on the issue of Bus Éireann, Sinn Féin TD for Sligo, Leitrim, West Cavan and South Donegal Martin Kenny said that public transport is a public service and does not have to be profit-making to be successful.

Deputy Kenny said:

“A successful public transport service is one which provides an adequate transport service to citizens and if that involves subsidy, then so be it.

“There is no denying that Bus Éireann is in trouble at the moment but it is no wonder when it seems to be run in such a way as to ensure it will not break even, never mind make a profit.

“Who takes the bus? In this state at the moment, it is the young, the old, the poor and tourists. In other words, the people who have little choice, but it doesn’t have to be like that.

“It is possible with good management, by listening to transport users and taking on board what they have to say, to create a service which will, by offering more, attract more people to use public transport.

“There are in Government and outside of it, the likes of Michael O’Leary of Ryanair, for example, who constantly suggest that somehow a privatised transport system would improve the service to our citizens. We only have to look across the water to Britain to see what a disaster privatisation of transport was there.

“And of course, there are hundreds of towns and villages all over Ireland which have little or no transport at all. It is government policy that if you live in rural Ireland and you cannot afford a car, or cannot drive for some other reason, then you can stay where you are, even if that means restricting citizens’ access to work, study, healthcare or a social life.

“Rural transport is a vital factor in maintaining life in rural Ireland. Bus Éireann is part of the vital infrastructure which must be maintained and developed.”

Morris welcomes news of Aherlow House sale, honouring of couples’ bookings


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Sinn Féin’s Tipperary General Election candidate Cllr. Séamie Morris has said he is delighted to hear that the sale of Aherlow House Hotel has been agreed, that couples who made bookings and paid deposits will have those bookings honoured, and that the jobs there will be saved. Cllr Morris has recently called publicly and repeatedly for Grant Thornton – the receiver of Aherlow House Hotel – to honour bookings taken by the former hotel operator from couples.

Cllr Morris said: “After an increasing number of couples were in contact with us, we took on-board their

Photographs (1): 2016-02-10: In Clonmel recently Sinn Féin's Tipperary General Election candidate Cllr. Séamie Morris (Right) with Marcus Fogarty and Cllr Martin Browne of Cashel.
2016-02-10: In Clonmel recently Sinn Féin’s Tipperary General Election candidate Cllr. Séamie Morris (Right) with Marcus Fogarty and Cllr Martin Browne of Cashel.

concerns, and made representations. We made quite a few enquiries, and were in contact with the office of Grant Thornton in Limerick.”

To hear that the pressure we began applying has yielded a result is wonderful. Sinn Féin pride ourselves that we don’t seek public office for ourselves, but for what we can do for others. On this occasion, that pressure has paid off and we are glad to have been able to help those couples.”

We now know that the hotel has been purchased by Adrian Shanagher. Mr Shanagher is well known to us in Tipperary as he is a Director of Clonmel Park Hotel. He has other well-known interests in the hospitality sector, including Mount Wolseley Hotel in Carlow and Killashee House Hotel in Kildare.”

The difference between Mr Shanagher and the previous operator is immediately obvious. Mr Shanagher has stated that he will honour previous commitments. In addition the hotel will be re-furbished and open again on Wednesday 3rd March next. That’s particularly good news, especially as existing staff now have a job to return to.”

The hotel was owned by Goldman Sachs and the question of couples who have already moved their big day to other hotels has yet to be sorted out by them. I hope that Mr Shanagher, the previous operator and Goldman Sachs will ensure that none of those will lose out. Sinn Féin will continue to demand that all couples are re-imbursed. We are also acutely aware that there are families who have paid deposits for communions, confirmations, and that schools made Debs deposits. Those bookings and deposits should also be honoured.”

I wasn’t the only representative to take action on this. Seamus Healy in Clonmel also made representations. We both share the Right2Change platform. We were the only two to do so and help the couples, but I suspect there’ll be a few others will be out of the woodwork to claim credit for the good news. There’s always at least one who’s as quick as a hare, or as fast as a hound, to get on the bandwagon, but those of us who did the work are happy to have helped.”

That situations like this still arise is further proof that over the last 5 years little has changed in this State. The present Government came to power promising change, yet situations like this still occur. All that’s happened is that more power has been given over to the big guy, while the little guy still suffers.”

The Aherlow House story is an example of vulture capitalism, where businesses are toys, and the little people who depend on those business are little more than collateral damage.

This is the video that Séamie Morris released in support of those affected by the Aherlow closure.

Morris asks Aherlow House Hotel receiver to recover & refund couples’ deposits


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Sinn Féin’s Tipperary General Election candidate Cllr. Séamie Morris has called publicly for Grant Thornton – the receiver of Aherlow House Hotel – to recover and refund deposits taken by the former hotel operator from couples.

Cllr Morris said: “An increasing number of couples have been in contact with the Sinn Féin team. They paid their deposits to Aherlow House Hotel in good faith for their wedding celebrations to be held there. That money was very hard come-by, and represents an investment in their future that they can not afford to lose.”

When they learned Aherlow House was in receivership they made contact with the receiver, to be told their payments were not in the possession of the hotel, and would not be returned. I know of scenarios around the country where receivers took immediate possession of absolutely everything as a first step. In the recent Xtra-Vision case 83 cars left Dublin to head to 83 different locations simultaneously to do just this.”

2016-01-07: Cllr Séamie Morris at the launch of the Sinn Féin 2016 commemoration programme, with Gerry Adams TD.
2016-01-07: Cllr Séamie Morris at the launch of the Sinn Féin 2016 commemoration programme, with Gerry Adams TD.

Why wasn’t the same done in this case?”

The hotel operator leased the business, apparently with a view to purchase. Clearly from this, customer service was not a high priority for him. The hotel is owned by Goldman Sachs – a name well known to us, and not always in a positive light. The receivers Grant Thornton are not willing to take responsibility for all of the business they are receiving.”

This is further proof that over the last 5 years little has changed in this State. The present Government came to power promising change, yet situations like this still occur.”

All that’s happened is that more power has been given over to the big guy, while the little guy still suffers.”

Those deposits total about 70,000, which is a trivial asset to a vulture capitalist, but a very significant amount for a young couple starting out their lives together.

The hotel is owned by Goldman Sachs.

The full Aherlow House story is a prime example of vulture capitalism, where business are tossed around like playthings, and the little people who depend on those business are little more than collateral damage.”

Sinn Féin won’t stand by while young people are treated this way. We will consider all options, including a protest at the hotel. We’re worried also about the future of the workers in the hotel, of which there are about 25. Owner Goldman Sachs and receiver Grant Thornton must show a social conscience, and not just process this receivership in the interests of the big-money operators.”

Most of the couples affected are based in South Tipperary, but this type of business behaviour is a national problem.”

The others only spoke of the hotel being full, I spoke of how I had filled it – Video


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Sinn Féin’s Tipperary General Election candidate Cllr. Séamie Morris has reminded his constituency rivals of his ability to do rather than just talk about doing. Speaking after an interview for the Seán O’Rourke Show on RTE Radio Friday, he said the venue in which the show was held was one he had filled many times with his sports tourism initiative.

2016-02-05 Séamie Morris after the radio show.
2016-02-05 Séamie Morris after the radio show.

Cllr Morris said: “The radio debate was held in the Abbey Court Hotel in Nenagh, a friendly hotel I know very well. Minister Kelly looked through the glass in the door and saw lots of young people down for an all-island Eight-ball pool tournament. He used that as an opportunity to say that his austerity policies were the cause of the economy doing well, and that the group present was evidence of a bustling economy.”

The fact is the group was sports related and had nothing to do with his efforts. On the other hand, I’ve brought sports tourists to that hotel and filled it more than once. I had the foresight to realise that hurling was a sport which could uniquely drive employment and inward spend, and I also had the initiative to make that happen.”

One of the teams that came here to learn hurling came all the way from Kansas, USA – twice – and used a double-decker bus, there were so many of them. 50 High School rugby teams from the USA and Canada have been here over the last 3 years. While others are merely talking about the hotel being full, I have actually done that. In those 3 years the hotel has been full several times as a result of me using my initiative and creating the product that drew them in.”

As Minister Kelly said, Tipperary is the home of hurling. He’s right, it is the home of hurling. But words are cheap. Anyone can say what he said, but only I had the insight to turn that fact into employment for the young people who are working here now.”

Minister Kelly also claimed direct involvement with the arrival of First Data. While I welcome the arrival of First Data – and hope the company will do well here with the well-educated and hard-working workforce available to them in Nenagh, we’ll wait until they arrive and get going before we celebrate. Towns in Tipperary need jobs, but they need them now. A job at the distant end of a pipeline isn’t enough, when a mortgage is due this week.”

Up and down the county people are recognising that I have been innovative in how I do things. I could have complained, and I could have whinged. But instead, I used my time as a politician to create tourism and to create employment for the young people in our county.”

It’s up to the people to decide, but if they don’t like how things are now, and they don’t want more of the same, they’ll have to decide to make the change and vote Sinn Féin.”

Morris on another successful season of sports tourism


2015-06-18: Cllr Séamie Morris and Con Morris pose with the girl and boy winners from Stuttgart.

Cllr Séamie Morris of Sinn Féin has concluded another successful season of his Sports Tourism initiative, saying that both European and North American groups get great enjoyment from Sports Tourism, just as Tipperary gets great employment from Sports Tourism.

Cllr Morris said: “Only last week a German school group from Herzogenrath Gymnasium sampled the Premier Hurling experience in MacDonagh Park Nenagh. A few weeks back, they were preceded by another German group, from Villendorf Stuttgart, who experienced hurling for their first time.”

“Our tourists really enjoy the Premier Hurling Experience which starts with a short introduction to hurling and the skills involved. They then put what they see into practice, and are put through a number of hurling drills by Premier Hurling coaches.”

“Of course all the groups enjoy the Puc Fáda competition at the end. Sometimes that’s the best part for them as they enjoy competing. Girls, boys, teachers and parents take part. We’ve even had the bus drivers taking part in it! Some of the Canadian ladies rugby groups have been very competitive.”

“So far this year 16 groups from Canada, USA and Germany have visited Nenagh and experienced our native sport of hurling for the first time. The whole experience that they taste here is magnificent. Because of it’s popularity, I have had several groups that are already planning ahead for their next trip to Tipperary. They come from as far away as Kansas and Canada. Some are planning to come back to us for the third time.”

“There are also individual visits from people who have had Tipperary recommended to them by groups who came here for the sports initiative. I originally set this up to give Nenagh a signature tourism project to bring people to the area, and am delighted with it’s success. Now I’d like to develop a similar project on an all-county basis.”

I am now planning a new initiative which will link all our Republican heritage, historic battle sites and memorials in a Republican heritage trail. This will see all of Tipperary take the forefront in historic commemorations from 1916 onwards, as Tipperary was to the forefront of Republican resistance in the War of Independence and Civil War.”

Jake Morris and Cllr Séamie Morris pose with the girl and boy winners of the Puc Fada competition from Herzogenrath.

Photographs (by Teresa Collins, Portroe)


Morris praises Comhaltas Ormond branch on their success

Cllr Séamie Morris of Sinn Féin has offered his highest praise for the organising committee of the Fleadh Cheoil na Mumhan. He commends them for their amazing feat in bringing the Munster Fleadh to Nenagh, and the manner in which they pulled off the successful running of the week-long event. The event finished on Friday and brought 15,000 people to the town.

Cllr Morris said: “As a councillor I have never doubted the capacity of Nenagh to hold such events. I have put my political lifeblood into encouraging sports and heritage tourism to the area. I set up the sports tourism grant initiative to do just that.”

2015-07-24: Cllr Séamie Morris has praised the Ormond branch of Comhaltas for their organisation of Fleadh Cheoil na Mumhan.

Now the Ormond branch of Comhaltas have raised the bar in Nenagh even further. Part of my thinking was to encourage a partnership approach between community, businesses and the council. I know that Fleadh Cheoil na Mumhan could not have worked as well as it did without such a co-operative approach. Comhaltas and I have shown that co-operation benefits everyone.“

This event took years of planning by the local Fleadh committee. Their many, many hours of planning meant a flawless week long event. Events were sold out and many thousands of people came to our town, many for the first time.”

The Nenagh Tidy Towns committee made the town look spectacular, and the people and businesses of the town offered Nenagh’s famous welcome to spectators and participants alike. Our local schools played a huge role in making their halls available for the competitions, and local clubs provided volunteers to man car parks.”

I am aware that some small things might have been done better, but the overall success of the Fleadh has put the name of Nenagh out there for future events. There will be repeat visits from participants and supporters. Nenagh has firmly been engrained on their minds as a safe and fun place to bring their families into the future.”

I must also congratulate my fellow Nenagh councillor Cllr Hughie McGrath for his efforts, which also contribute to the St Patrick’s Day Parade and the upcoming Peoples Picnic.”

Looking to the future, I am reminding townspeople that there is a committee being formed to maximise the benefits of the Football Association of Ireland (FAI) AGM in Tipperary next year.

That will be a week-long event. It’s coming to Tipperary in June 2016 thanks to my efforts and those of Cllr McGrath. Nenagh is very much open for business. So much so that if anyone has any ideas about organising sporting, musical or cultural events for the town please contact either myself or Cllr McGrath. Your two Nenagh councillors will be glad to assist.