How to get IRONMAN ready

How to get IRONMAN ready

The long awaited and much anticipated IRONMAN Ireland, Cork is fast approaching. The event is expected to bring 2,670 athletes from 62 countries across the world, as well as an expected €8 million boost to the local economy!

What do IRONMAN athletes want?

Many Ring Of Cork members will be heavily involved in the IRONMAN and fringe events associated with it, from providing accommodation, serving food and hosting entertainment.

We have put together a quick guide to help you provide IRONMAN athletes with what they really want.

For Accommodation Providers

Many IRONMAN athletes will be staying in hotels and B&B’s but as these booked out so fast there will be a great deal of athletes and supporters staying in houses and rooms offered up by locals too.

Athletes will want somewhere safe, clean and dry to store their bikes for the event. Many competitors will be fiercely protective of their bikes and may want to keep them somewhere very close-by. They may also want facilities to wash and tend to their bikes so being prepared for this is advisable.

Athletes will also need a suitable place to store and dry their gear such as wetsuits so bear this in mind as you prepare. And don’t forget how unpredictable the Irish weather can be, you may need to be ready for the rain.

IRONMAN competitors will need plenty of fridge space and kitchen facilities for food prep and storage. Think nutri-bullets and blenders for protein shakes, overnight oats and fresh fruit for breakfast and nutrient dense foods that are suitable for on the go. Coffee is also often hugely popular with IRONMAN athletes so be sure to stock up!

For Businesses

Local businesses are expected to benefit greatly from the IRONMAN. The wonderful thing about an event such as this is the knock-on effect it can have for so many local businesses. One athlete may bring a few supporters with them, and they will all need food and accommodation. An athlete may need to visit the physio, the pharmacy, the florist, the sports shop, the pool, the gym and the supermarket. This brings huge benefit to the locality especially considering the volume of athletes and supporters that will be visiting. All businesses have a role to play and all businesses can reap the rewards of the IRONMAN.

The proud supporter scheme exists to encourage local businesses to engage in supporting the IRONMAN event, view more information on this here.

  • Cyclist Friendly Cafés and Bike Service Stations will be well appreciated by any athletes practicing the route in the run up to the IRONMAN. The Village Greengrocer in Castlemartyr is a great example, as is the Shanagarry Design Centre
  • Shuttle bus services will come in very handy for supporters and competitors alike
  • Overall the aim is to provide excellent service to these competitors as always to encourage repeat business and more visitors to the area.

IRONMAN Checklist

  • Safe, Secure Bike Storage
  • Bike Cleaning Facilities
  • Bike Pumps
  • Nutri-Bullet / Blender
  • Wetsuit Drying Facilities
  • Coffee
  • Early Morning Breakfasts
  • Adequate Food Storage
  • Brochures, Maps & Route Information
  • Race Day weather forecast & temperatures

Special Offers

A number of Ring Of Cork members will have special offers for the IRONMAN weekend for competitors, supporters and the general public.

Devon View House, Youghal will be providing breakfast for any athletes who’s accommodation does not provide them with meals. Contact Michael Walsh on   +3532492298  +353857359734 for more information.

La Tratoria, Midleton have a special offer for free coffee with every meal for competitors and supporters all day long from Friday 21st until Monday 24th.

Youghal Clock Gate will be offering a special 10% discount on Family Entrance to the Tower on Saturday 22nd and Sunday 23rd June, IRONMAN weekend.

The Quality Hotel, Youghal be serving food at the following times. This is available to the public, not just guests. Of special note will be the early breakfasts and late pizzas

Breakfast

  • Saturday morning from 6.00am Athletes & Regular Breakfast
  • Sunday morning Athletes Breakfast from 3.00am & regular breakfast from 5.00am

Lunch

  • Regular food offering on Saturday all day and PIZZA available if required until 12.00
  • Sunday Carvery from 12.00 as normal, carvery runs until 8.00pm. Bar food served until close and PIZZA until 12.00

The Shanagarry Design Centre is a very bicycle friendly stop along the IRONMAN route that is open seven days a week (10am to 6pm) and cyclists can park their bikes, fill up their water bottles and pump their wheels if they are going flat. They also offer cyclists tea/coffee and a scone for €5.

For those wishing to visit East Cork before or after the Iron Man Race on Sunday June 23rd, the Shanagarry Design Centre is located in picturesque Shanagarry overlooking Ballycotton Bay. Home to the largest and very best collection of Irish Design, and the renowned Kilkenny Café serves delicious freshly made Irish artisan food. They are also located next to Penn Castle which was home to William Penn, founder of Pennsylvania.

The Fota Collection, both Fota Island Resort and The Kingsley have created IRONMAN packages for competitors, and will be offering an early morning breakfast including protein shakes and more for their guests.

Mackey Coaches are situated on the route for the bike event. They have been offering free tap water for cyclists since last September and have shuttle services available to hire over the course of the few days surrounding the IRONMAN.

Fáilte Ireland Tourism Funding

Fáilte Ireland Tourism Funding

Platforms for Growth – A Programme for Tourism Investment 2019-2022

Fáilte Ireland’s major new capital investment programme worth €150 million is called Platforms for Growth, and will run from 2019 to 2022. Major new visitor attractions of scale will be developed and existing attractions greatly enhanced under the programme which falls under the Government’s Project Ireland 2040 strategy.

This is the largest investment programme of its kind to benefit tourism with individual grants available for large-scale visitor attractions of €2.5million upwards. It is unlike any other Fáilte Ireland call in that it specifically targets ‘platforms’ or project types that have the greatest potential to grow tourism across Ireland and throughout the year.

The first ‘Platform’ launched on 29th May 2019 focuses on developing Immersive Heritage and Cultural Attractions that appeal to overseas visitors looking for experiences that help them to ‘connect’ with Ireland and bring the country’s culture, heritage and people to life.

Driving growth in the regions through tourism is a core focus of our work at Fáilte Ireland and having top-class visitor attractions and experiences is an integral part of this. We look for every possible opportunity to stimulate and support the development of new attractions throughout the country. Creating a more regional spread of visitors is central to our capital investment strategy, and through this platform new attractions across the country will be developed and existing ones transformed.

This call for proposals is part of a suite of tourism capital grants programmes envisaged under the Fáilte Ireland’s Tourism Investment Strategy [pdf, 3.8MB] for the period 2016-2022 and is part of the Grants Scheme for Large Tourism Projects 2016-2020.

 

How to apply

Before applying, please ensure you have read the Guidelines which contains all the information regarding the operation of the Immersive Heritage and Cultural Attractions platform. Fáilte Ireland has also developed a Toolkit to accompany the platform, which applicants should use as a resource to help make the best possible case for their project proposals. Both documents can be downloaded below.

The first two stages to be taken in making an application for funding under this Platform are as follows:

Stage One: Expression of interest

In order to receive an application form, you will need to register your interest by filling out a short questionnaire. Any applicant or project that is clearly ineligible for funding will be informed of this and will not receive an application form. Otherwise a link to the application form will be emailed to you.

You can submit your Expression of Interest here.

The deadline for registering an expression of interest is 17th July 2019 at 12:00 noon.

Stage Two: Completing the application form

Once an Expression of Interest is submitted, eligible applicants will then receive an email invitation with a link to the Stage 2 Application Form. The application form will be hosted on Fáilte Ireland’s Trade Portal. Only application forms submitted online via the Trade Portal will be accepted and evaluated.

Incomplete applications and applications received after the closing date will not be considered for evaluation.

The final deadline for receipt of applications is Wednesday 7th August at 12:00 noon.

Applicant Workshops

In order to be eligible to apply for funding under this platform, applicants must attend one of the mandatory workshops below prior to completing Stage 2.

To register for one of these workshops please email capital@failteireland.ie.

Please note that all the above workshops run from 10.00 to 13.00

Additional Applicant Workshops may be held by Fáilte Ireland according to demand. Check back here for further details. 

**Timelines for Applications**

  • Programme Opens: 29th May 2019.
  • Close of Expression of Interest Applications:  17th July 2019 at 12:00 noon.
  • Close of Stage 2 Applications: 7th August 2019 at 12:00 noon. (Reminder: Applicants must have attended a mandatory workshop before submission of this application form).

For details on what happens subsequent to this, please refer to the Guidelines which accompany the programme.

Contact Information

For further information on the Platforms for Growth programme, please contact: capital@failteireland.ie.

Ring Of Cork FAM Trip to ZipIt

Ring Of Cork FAM Trip to ZipIt

Taking a well-earned break from the daily hustle and bustle of their businesses, our Ring Of Cork members took part in a Familiarisation Trip on Thursday morning the 4th April to experience all that ZipIt in Farran Woods had to offer.

Some of our cohorts were well versed in zipping through the trees, and others were totally new to the experience. What we learned when we arrived was that thanks to the in-depth safety induction, and to the knowledge and enthusiasm of the ZipIt team, we would all be able to try our hand at ZipIt no matter our skill or experience level.

Armed with the wisdom that Steve, Mike, and Chris passed onto us at our induction phase, we took to the trees. The selection of courses enabled us to pick and choose what we wanted to tackle based on our abilities – and our need for adrenaline!

The Green Course suited those just looking to test the waters with heights at around one meter, this provided plenty of fun with a little adventure too. Then onto the Orange Course, from shaky suspension bridges to tight wires and zip lines, this course was a bit more of a test and had platforms up to four meters high! The brave and the bold carried on to the White Course. ‘Upside down bicycles’, netted climbing walls, ten meter heights and plenty of thrills entailed on this leg of the adventure, with plenty of exhilarated screeches to be heard for miles.

Those members who had gotten enough of a taste already got to stroll around the stunning grounds of Farran Woods and take in some breath-taking scenery, and a lucky few got to carry on to bigger and better heights on the Blue Course. This course included heights of up to fifteen metres, and saw our members zipping across the woods and even enjoying their very own mission impossible style moment with the free fall rope as a finale.

While we didn’t have the time to progress to the daunting thrills of the Red Course, many of our participants pledged they would come back for more to finish the whole course! A huge thanks is in order to Claire, Chris and all the ZipIt team for facilitating this brilliant trip. It provided a fantastic opportunity to explore the facilities and what’s more is that our members got the chance to mingle and forge lasting connections.

From ZipIt we made our way to the Oriel House Hotel to enjoy some tea, coffee and delicious scones during our networking session. This gave members the chance to interact and get to know one another in a relaxed setting, and it proved to be very beneficial.  Thank you to Janice, Ciara and all the team at the Oriel House Hotel for providing us a wonderful setting for the networking session.

If you are interested in booking in for our upcoming ‘fam’ trips, check out our member’s page and book yourself in! We have a few more chances to take part and build your connections before the summer season gets in to full swing.

 

‘Risky Business’ Insurance Workshop

‘Risky Business’ Insurance Workshop

Risky Business Workshop

  RISKY BUSINESS: A practical workshop to help you manage insurable risk in your business.

DETAILS When?​ June 11th 2019

Where?​ Radisson Blu Hotel, Little Island, Cork

What time?​ 8.30 – 14.30 (To include tea & coffee and lunch)

BACKGROUND Small and medium businesses in the tourism and events sectors are facing significant challenges in procuring sustainable insurance premiums. In some cases, businesses are facing closure due to insurance issues. Industry representative bodies are working hard to bring about change through extensive lobbying of government and through the media however, SMEs affected by these issues need to take action in their own businesses now.

Is your business affected by this?

We are ice rink operators with over 200,000 skaters every winter since 2007. We deal with claims every year. Despite this we manage to maintain sustainable insurance cover for our business. We have done this by developing processes and systems in consultation with industry experts to manage risks, incidents and claims. We are passionate about sharing our experience in the hope that it may lead to other businesses achieving similar results to our own. We would like to invite you to a half day interactive workshop to hear a panel of professionals who have informed our processes and systems.

SPEAKERS Bill Cremin- Managing Director, Cool Running Events Limited Bill runs Ireland largest pop up events management company. Cool Running Events operates numerous pop up ice rinks around Ireland each winter. With over 200,000 customers every year, Bill will provide insight about how his company manages risk and continues to thrive in a challenging insurance environment.

Kieran Devonish- Principal, Dandelion Risk Management & Insurance Consultancy Kieran is a highly qualified and experienced risk management professional. For almost two decades, he has successfully helped many companies, throughout the country, to improve their workplace safety standards and to cut their insurance costs.

Brendan O’Connell Partner, Ronan Daly Jermyn Brendan acts for some of Ireland’s leading retailers and he will provide insight on strategies to employ in determining when a case is worthwhile defending/settling.

Ciarán O’Mahony B.L. Ciarán is a barrister who specialises in personal injuries litigation. He will discuss evidential issues which arise in the defence of personal injuries litigation and offer advice to help ensure that the evidence you wish to proffer will be admissible in court.

Glen Goggin- Head of Casualty, Sedgwick Ireland Glenn currently heads Sedgwick’s Liability Unit and is one of the very few working in the Irish Market currently holding the Fellowship of the Chartered Insurance Institute (FCII). Glenn has in depth experience in handling motor, liability (property and casualty) and property damage claims with specific expertise in psychiatric, defamation and false arrest claims. Glenn also holds an honours law degree from UCC (NUI).

Finbarr Jeffers- O’Leary Insurances Ltd Finbarr has over 20 years’ experience in the insurance industry, providing a comprehensive insurance broking service to companies across all sectors of the Irish Economy. O’Leary Insurances are the appointed insurance brokers to the Small Firms Association, I.H.F and Irish Restaurateurs Association.

The takeaways for attendees will be among the following;

● Insights on how Cool Running Events manages claims to ensure sustainable renewal premiums in its ice skating business ● Practical advice from a highly experienced Risk Management Consultant on how to identify and manage risk in your business. ● Insight from a member of the legal profession as to when and when not to go to court. ● How to position your business to secure sustainable insurance premiums.

BOOKINGS Please note that places are limited. To book a place visit https://www.eventbrite.ie/e/risky-business-registration-61148570019​. Queries please call 021 2066066 or email ​admin@coolrunningevents.ie

 

Fáilte Ireland IRONMAN Customer Service Training

Fáilte Ireland IRONMAN Customer Service Training

Get Fáilte Ireland’s IRONMAN Ireland Cork Charter and let your customers know you care about them.

Fáilte Ireland are running a workshop near you to help you get the most from IRONMAN Ireland Cork. The three-hour workshop will help you to get an understanding of what value means from the customers’ point of view and to identify ways of ensuring that every customer has a memorable experience during the event.

What you can expect from attending the workshop: 

• Understand what service excellence is and how this can affect your customer, your business and local area.
• Be better able to anticipate and identify customer’s needs and expectations.
• Have an environment where courtesy, helpfulness and a warm welcome are standard.
• Increase customer satisfaction, retention and loyalty.
• Create a sense of team spirit around IRONMAN Ireland Cork

Then sign the IRONMAN Ireland Cork Customer Service Excellence Charter to display in your premises.

This programme is for anyone who engages directly with the tourism customer and is fully subsidised by Fáilte Ireland.

Interested? Then check which time suits you best and book a place by emailing tours@youghalclockgate.ie or info@ringofcork.ie Please register by 29th May 2019.

Tuesday 4th June

  • Morning session 9am to 12 noon
  • Afternoon session 2pm to 5pm

Wednesday 5th June

  • Morning session 9am to 12 noon
  • Afternoon session 2pm to 5pm

Venue: Youghal Council Offices.

The Digital World of Tourism Conference

The Digital World of Tourism Conference

This Digital Marketing Conference is all about showcasing the opportunities of the online world within the tourism market. It is all about helping people create engaging content, grow their following and to capture the attention of the travel audience in the digital world. It is all about learning from each other as you hear from successful brands who have built their travel brand through innovative digital marketing. In the tourism world, it is all about thinking outside the box with content.

The conference will include keynote speakers such as Marie Toft of Emotionise, Stephanie Lynch of OnTheQT.ie and Seamus Heaney of Visit Cork.

There will be three panel discussions with many successful tourism brands.

There will be a panel discussion about ‘Thinking Outside The Box with Digital Content’ with Déanna and Killian of The Textbook Travels and Ruth Fuller of Fuller Marketing.

The second panel will discuss ‘Building Your Travel Brand Online’ with Triona O’Mahoney of Munster Vales and Tom Rooney of Europcar.

The third panel will discuss ‘Building your brand online’ with John Grehan of G Adventures and Eoin Kennedy of Zone Digital.

Tickets: https://www.eventbrite.ie/e/the-digital-world-of-tourism-conference-tickets-59766825183

Blue Flag Status returns to Redbarn Beach

Blue Flag Status returns to Redbarn Beach

Redbarn Beach has been awarded the Blue Flag again this year, this is a fantastic start to the 2019 tourism season.

Redbarn Beach is unique in East Cork as the only beach with this accolade. The Blue Flag is one of the world’s most familiar eco-labels. At beaches, the bathing water must comply with the excellent standard in accordance with the 2006 EU Bathing Water Directive.

Owner of the Quality Hotel at Redbarn, Allen McEnery noted, “Cork County Council have done tremendous work over the past few years in maintaining consistent & excellent bathing water quality. Their program of regularly clearing the beach of seaweed has been instrumental in achieving these pristine conditions – even with the dreadful storms and bad weather over the past year.  We would like to thank everyone who has helped to contribute to this success.”

Worldwide, the Blue Flag is awarded to approximately only 4000 beaches in 49 countries across Europe, South Africa, Tunisia, New Zealand, Brazil and the Caribbean. Beaches and marinas that achieve this honour must comply with a specific set of criteria relating to water quality, information provision, environmental education, safety and beach management. The Blue Flag programme is funded in Ireland by the Department of the Environment, Community & Local Government.

Allen finished by saying, “Youghal is renowned for its seaside location and a favourite holiday venue for families because of its great beaches. The pending Ironman next month has had a huge impact on the area already with athletes travelling in advance to trial course. The programme of road upgrades has been very welcome, and I do hope the event is a roaring success. “

The Old Thatch, Killeagh Open their new Deli

The Old Thatch, Killeagh Open their new Deli

The Old Thatch Killeagh who have been proudly serving the village of Killeagh since 1650 have just unveiled their brand new Deli as an addition to the existing bar and restaurant!

Providing everything from ice cream and hot & cold food, to sandwiches and rolls. The deli has all you could need for a quick bite to eat and of course the all-important caffeine fix with exclusive barista coffee.

Make sure to call in and check it out, the deli is ideally located at the rear of the building, next to The Old Thatch car park.

the old thatch deli | Ring Of Cork | www.ringofcork.ie the old thatch deli | Ring Of Cork | www.ringofcork.ie the old thatch deli | Ring Of Cork | www.ringofcork.ie the old thatch deli | Ring Of Cork | www.ringofcork.ie

Oriel House Hotel Awarded Irish Hotel of The Year 2019

Oriel House Hotel Awarded Irish Hotel of The Year 2019

The Oriel House Hotel has been awarded Irish Hotel of the Year 2019 and both Munster and Regional 4 Star Hotel of The Year at the The Irish Hotel Awards 2019.

Congratulations to the whole team at the Oriel House for this brilliant achievement recognizing the hotel’s high standard.

Why not call in to the Oriel House Hotel for a bite to eat, a romantic overnight stay or maybe just a quick trip to the gym – they have it all!

 

The 5 Star Castlemartyr Resort presented with Failte Ireland Award for Customer Service Excellence

The 5 Star Castlemartyr Resort presented with Failte Ireland Award for Customer Service Excellence

Congratulations to the Castlemartyr Resort team for their achievement, which recognizes 12 months of training and hard work led by Operations Manager Barry Hennessey and Guest Relations Manager, Trevor Sheehan.

New Offer: Summer Family Breaks at the 5 Star Castlemartyr Resort

Enjoy Summer Family Breaks at the 5-Star Castlemartyr Resort, with 2 nights luxury accommodation, evening meal on one night and family pass to Fota Wildlife Park from just €249pn. For more information call the reservations team on 021 421 9150 or visit www.castlemartyrresort.ie.

Castlemartyr Resort | Ring Of Cork | www.ringofcork.ie

Leahy’s Open Farm Receive Tálamh Sustainable Living Award

Leahy’s Open Farm Receive Tálamh Sustainable Living Award

A huge congratulations is in order to Donal & Teresa Leahy of Leahy’s Open Farm, who were awarded the Talamh Sustainable Living Award at this years’ RDS Spring Awards ceremony in Dublin last Wednesday.

Leahy’s Open Farm was first established roughly twenty years ago when Eddie and Eileen Leahy took a great leap of faith and diversified into agri-tourism. Twenty years later Leahy’s Open Farm is an ever-growing and expanding favourite for families all over Ireland, and it is now run by Donal & Teresa Leahy.

The award celebrates the huge effort made by Leahy’s Open Farm to diversify and expand as a rural business. Teresa explains that back in the day, the farm would have sustained only a few employees, but having diversified and expanded it is proudly responsible for a huge boost to the local rural economy. Leahy’s Open Farm has an overwhelmingly positive impact on the local economy as it consistently attracts visitors and brings income to the area.

Leahy’s Open Farm boasts a wide range of activities; from daily animal petting times to crazy golf, and even the chance to operate real JCB Diggers! The farm’s variety of fun filled pursuits cater for all ages and interests. A product of their ambition and expansion is the recently unveiled Ice Cream & Chocolate Factory. The factory uses milk fresh from the farm to produce delicious, authentic ice cream and hosts kids’ parties, chocolate workshops and more.

Teresa and Donal were visited by two judges who evaluated the farm as part of the consideration process. According to Teresa they did not expect to win, but were looking forward to making a night out of the awards ceremony anyway. The excitement to hear Leahy’s Open Farm being announced as winners of the Sustainable Living Award was really something else, and the shock and surprise made it all the better for Donal and Teresa who were absolutely delighted to receive their award from Minister Andrew Doyle.

Fáilte Ireland Workshop: Selling to the US – Market Insights and Lead Generation

Fáilte Ireland Workshop: Selling to the US – Market Insights and Lead Generation

Details regarding Fáilte Ireland’s upcoming workshop ‘Selling to the US: ‘Market Insights and Lead Generation.’ This workshop will be very relevant to many of our Ring Of Cork Members. Early booking with Fáilte Ireland is essential, see below.

This workshop will take place as follows

Venue: River Lee Hotel, Cork  T12 X2AH

Date: Thursday, 16 May 2019

Registration: Registration begins at 09:30

Time: Workshops runs from 10:00 – 16:00

Cost: This support is fully subsidised by Fáilte Ireland.

The closing date for registering for this workshop is

Thursday, May 9 2019

This workshop will focus on the US market and include:

• Market insights in the US market including key customer types, their interest in Ireland, and key messages for engagement
• Lead generation i.e. devising a channel management strategy (specific to the US market).

The content has been developed following the latest insights gained from a number of sources including Fáilte Ireland and Tourism Ireland market and consumer research, and insights and feedback from buyers and OTAs.

Why attend?
You will learn to grow the US market and increase profits for your business. The emphasis is on the practical application of knowledge to benefit you and your business.

Workshop Content:
• Market insights in the US market including key customer types, their interest in Ireland, and key messages for engagement
• The importance of the US market and the role it plays in the overall segmentation strategy
• How to nurture business from US
• Lead generation i.e. devising a US channel management strategy that is right for your business:
• National Tourism Agencies and the in-market US opportunities of each
• In Ireland and in market US trade events
• Generating business through Irish tour operators and working out who is a good match for your business
• Generating US business via OTAs (B2C and B2B)
• Partnering with others (e.g. attractions and activities) to generate business from OTAs
• Getting the most out of leads via face to face meetings and social selling
• Trade opportunities (tour operator and OTA) specific to US
• Direct consumer opportunities in the US market (e.g. in market digital and/or publicity bundles)

Places are limited – book now!

Fáilte Ireland: T: 1800 24 24 73 E: customersupport@failteireland.ie

Ring Of Cork FAM Trip To Leahy’s Open Farm

Ring Of Cork FAM Trip To Leahy’s Open Farm

This weeks’ Ring Of Cork familiarisation trip took us to Leahy’s Open Farm on Wednesday April 17th to see all they had to offer.

Joining our trip were a wide variety of Ring Of Cork member businesses including representatives from Fota Wildlife Park, Sunville B&B, Castlemartyr Resort, Inch Hideaway, An Stór Town House, Youghal Heritage Centre and Print Profile.

The day started with some brief introductions and a small bit of history on the farm, which was a great way to start off the networking which continued for the rest of the day. As the farm tour commenced our members got to soak in the beautiful surroundings while chatting, getting to know one and other and creating business connections.  They also got to know a few of the farm animals like Humphry the camel and some gorgeous alpacas!

Ring of Cork Members Exploring Inch Hideaway | www.ringofcork.ie | Ring of Cork

Exploring

Donal, Eddie and Teresa Leahy did a brilliant job of showing off everything Leahy’s Open Farm has to offer. No matter how old or young you are, Leahy’s has something for you. Be it a leisurely stroll around the grounds, a ride in the barrel train, a bit of fun in the mini JCB diggers or spending time with the animals, there is something that everyone can enjoy. Not only this, but the farm also has a collection of incredible artefacts which illustrate a real walk through experience of Irish history.

The last stop on our tour was a visit to the top of the range Ice Cream & Chocolate factory. This involved a fun and informative chocolate workshop where members got to create their own chocolate tractor shaped lollipops and paint chocolate moulds as well as trying some tasters of the sweet treats that the Ice Cream & Chocolate factory had to offer.

Overall, the day was hugely enjoyable and members got to create brilliant connections with one another as well as experience Leahy’s Open Farm’s fantastic offerings for all ages on a fun, informal day away from the office! Each member left with a self-made chocolate lollipop and a wonderful goody bag courtesy of the Leahy’s Open Farm team.

Thank you to our members who attended – it proved to be a very valuable day for all involved. A huge thank you as well to Donal, Teresa, Eddie, Joanne and all the team at Leahy’s Open Farm for a fantastic day out!

Don’t miss out on our next familiarisation trip to Inch Hideaway on April 28th! To book in visit our training page or drop us an email at info@ringofcork.ie

Dorothy’s Easter Trail at Fota House, Arboretum & Gardens

Dorothy’s Easter Trail at Fota House, Arboretum & Gardens

Join us for a breath of fresh air this Easter at Fota House, Arboretum & Gardens, one of Cork’s most idyllic locations, on Friday 19th and Sat 20th April. The magnificent Arboretum will be the setting for Dorothy’s Trail, which will bring the history and beauty of Fota alive for everyone. Amongst the trees and wildlife, follow the woodland path, leading you to your very own Easter treat!

This self-guided Easter Trail follows in the footsteps of the young Dorothy Bell, Fota’s former owner, as she explores her imagination in the gardens. At the finish, claim your yummy chocolate egg, kindly sponsored by Cadbury’s. Come along for an EGGciting day out for all the family that is suitable for all ages!

Once your little ones have enjoyed their experience, why not make a day of it and enjoy the stunning gardens with a picnic or enjoy some delicious food at Bakestone Café?! There will also be food tents at the end of the trail and entertainment with vintage swing boats and carousel from the 1950s and a fantastic 1970s ice-cream van,” says Victoria Tammadge, Fota House’s General Manager.

Tickets are €8 per child and can be pre-booked online www.fotahouse.com, adults go FREE!

Trail runs Friday and Saturday from 10am to 4pm daily, walk-ins welcome.

By enjoying our Easter trail, visitors are contributing to the ongoing restoration and conservation of Fota House, Arboretum & Gardens which is owned and managed by the Irish Heritage Trust charity. Book tickets online now, join us for Easter, and be part of something special.

For details on all our events or to book, visit us at www.fotahouse.com or call 021 4815543.

www.ringofcork.ie | Ring of Cork | Fota House Easter

Photo Credit: Chris Martin

Ring of Cork meets Seamus Heaney Tourism Group

Ring of Cork meets Seamus Heaney Tourism Group

On a sunny Sunday the 24th of March in the Jameson Experience Midleton, Ring of Cork members got the exciting chance to meet and mingle with members of the Seamus Heaney Tourism Group from Northern Ireland.

Met with delicious refreshments, everyone got a seat around a series of tables and got the chance to get to know their counterparts from the North. All attendees introduced themselves and their business, which provided great insight into the current climate of the tourism industry and Ireland, both local and national.

There were many similarities between businesses in the North and South, and there was a real interest in creating networks and connections between these two groups. The session really demonstrated the potential that both areas have to develop as tourism hubs within the country, and what’s more is that both groups really got to express what their respective areas had to offer. From warm and inviting accommodations to unique and exciting adventures and experiences, there is something for absolutely everyone both in the Ring Of Cork and in the Seamus Heaney Tourism Group area.

www.ringofcork.ie | Seamus Heaney Group | Ring of Cork

Not only was this a brilliant opportunity to meet similar tourism businesses from the opposite end of the country, it was also a chance for Ring of Cork Members to get more familiar with one another. There was varied representation from all sectors of the tourism industry. Attendees found that there was a great deal in common between businesses in the North and South of Ireland, and there was a lot that was learned from each other.

www.ringofcork.ie | Seamus Heaney Group | Ring of Cork

Members from Ring Of Cork Included: Castle Farm B&B, Camden Fort Meagher, Ocean Escapes, Passage West Maritime Museum, Summerfield Lodge B&B, Midleton Park Hotel, Sunville B&B and Leahy’s Open Farm.

Visitors from the Seamus Heaney Tourism Group Included: Ballyscullion Park House, Seamus Heaney Home Place, Lough Neagh Fisherman’s Co-Operative Society, Dalriada Kingdom Tours, Ardtara Country House, Walsh’s Hotel, Friel’s Bar, Brendan Adams Tours, J and K Coaches, Bake House NI

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