Friday, February 15 15:47:24
Carrick on Shannon in County Leitrim is expected to receive a welcome boost of close to E8m this year as it hosts an estimated 26,000 additional visitors.
The influx of tourists will come to celebrate and take part in a major landmark in the town's history, as 2013 marks the 400th anniversary since King James I granted the town charter. Visitor numbers are expected to almost double to 53,000 during 2013, resulting in an expected tourism revenue of E16m for the year.
To celebrate the historic anniversary, a year-long festival programme of events is being officially opened today by President Michael D. Higgins in the town. The President said: "Here in twenty first century Carrick on Shannon, we have a striking example of what can be achieved when we combine the richest moments from our past with the wonderful possibilities offered by the present moment; when we are capable of constantly re-imagining, re-crafting and discerning new visions while retaining all that was best about our shared history.
In tandem with 'The Gathering' initiative Carrick on Shannon natives from all over the globe are being encouraged to return to the town along with tourists from within and outside of Ireland to join in the celebrations.
Speaking on RTE Radio 1's New at One, Leitrim County Manager Jackie Maguire said that Carrick on Shannon and County Leitrim have been very much undiscovered as a tourist destination. She said lots of work to seize this opportunity has been carried out in the past decade. "All of the stakeholders involved - the tourist sector, the business, the communities and indeed the local. By Joe O'Connor