The new ‘Derrynaflan Trail’ tourism project is all set to be launched; hosted in the Horse & Jockey Hotel, Thurles, at 10:00am on Friday April 25th next. Launch is by the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Mr Jimmy Deenihan and note all are welcome to attend.
This project is being spearheaded by three Tipperary community organisations, namely; Littleton Development Association, Holycross Community Network and Slieveardagh Rural Development. The project has the support and guidence of South Tipperary Development Company under the Rural Development Programme and these groups jointly have now completed the first phase in this exciting trail development.
A one hour audio guide together with a thirty six page booklet has now been produced, together with a brochure highlighting the rich ecclesiastical heritage of this previously hidden part of middle Tipperary. These three community groups are continuing to develop guided tours of the sites with Holycross Community Network already providing tours of Holycross Abbey and it is now planned to put regular tours of other sites in place. Interpretive signage at each site is now their longer term objective. The overall aim of this project is to now provide a much needed economic boost to rural Tipperary, through increasing overall visitor numbers from both home and abroad.
The ‘Derrynaflan Trail’ will connect ancient ecclesiastical sites from the Slieveardagh Hills, across through Littleton Bog, to the banks of the River Suir. Holycross Abbey, Kilcooley’s Cistercian Abbey, Liathmore’s twin churches and ruined round tower and of course Derrynaflan Island itself, are numbered amongst the places of significance along this most ancient of early Christian routes. This trail will span fifteen centuries of Irish history since early Christian times. Along the way travellers will encounter the rich local folklore concerning rebel priests, saintly miracles, a Viking battle, Cromwellian invaders and indeed much, much more.
All these wonderful sites are free of charge, though donations are appreciated when visiting at Holycross Abbey, latter which provide excellent professional tour guides.