The South Laois Area Tourism committee was setup originally as The Durrow Area Toursim Group in 2009, but later grew to incorporate the surrounding villages in South Laois and North Kilkenny Counties in south central Ireland.
It was felt the South Laois Area did not receive the same attention as the Slieve Bloom and northern area of the County. Our neighbours in North Kilkenny had similar feelings as South Kilkenny seemed to attract more tourists and from this a good cross county working relationship is developing. The aim is to promote tourism in the area and to increase the number of visitors to our beautiful countryside. By doing so business in the area will benefit from the increased footfall and therefore more jobs will be created.
Many events would cross county boundaries e.g. The MacGiolla Phadraig Way Walk held on Easter Sunday is a 19km cross country walk which starts in Durrow, Laois County and concludes in Gathabawn, Kilkenny County. Plans are already afoot to again hold this walk in October. Canoeing on the Goul River and Nore River also sees participants cross the county border at various locations. Earlier this year (2011) we hosted Rural Science Association AGM and a field trip.
South Laois Tourism is a voluntary community group which hold monthly meetings. The Officer Board is as follows:
Chairman: Michael G. Phelan (087) 2395357
Vice Chairman: Vincent O’Sullivan
Secretary: Stephanie Phelan
Assistant Secretary: Barbara Walsh (087) 6015862
Joint Treasurers: Mary Ryan and Ger Alley
PRO: Paddy Fitzparick
Along with 20 plus committee members.