During Revew week as part of our ongoing project of engagement with communities, a large group of 170 students and 8 staff travelled to Tullamore to take part in fieldwork activities, with colleagues in Offaly County Council.  Staff travelling on the trip included Kevin Griffin, Ralf Burbach, Fiona Greagsby, Geraldine Gorham, Deirdre Quinn, Theresa Ryan, Ziene Mottiar and John Ryan. In the morning, in The Tullamore Court Hotel, the following speakers addressed the group:

  • Sean Murray, Director of Services, Offaly Co Co
  • Martin Daly, Offaly Co Co
  • Emmet Lynch - Canal Quarter Festival promoter 
  • Sinead O Reilly, Offaly Co Co,  Arts Officer
  • Breda Maher, Offaly Co Co Forward Planning Section
  • Pauline Hoctor, Offaly Local Development Company 
  • Freda Kinnarney, Tullamore Show

In the afternoon the first year groups (Tourism Management; Tourism Marketing; Language and Tourism) after hearing about the origins of the site from Tom Egan, had a wonderful time with Kevin and Geraldine, in Lough Boora Discovery Park, where many of them rented bicycles and experienced the site first hand.  Deirdre’s Consumer Behaviour group undertook surveys of local residents in Tullamore, Theresa’s E-Tourism group were brought on a historical tour and followed up with recording short videos of Tullamore, and Bernadette’s Policy and Planning group visited Tullamore Dew.

The final group of Masters students, led by Ralf travelled to Birr Castle for presentations by Finola McDermott, Marketing, Birr Castle; Peter Ormond, Manager, Mid Ireland Tourism; Margaret Hogan, Birr Historical Society; Emma Nee Haslam, Birr Theatre & Birr cultural  tourism and; Barry Loughnane, County Arms Hotel, Birr. This group stayed overnight in Offaly, and had some follow-up activities on the Friday.

The entire day was planned by a graduate of the Masters in Tourism Management - Catriona Hilliard and her colleagues in Offaly County Council (including Martin Daly, Fiona Craig etc), in liaison with Kevin Griffin and other DIT colleagues.

We look forward to providing various forms of feedback to Offaly in the form of student projects and presentations based on the day, and follow up research activities / projects. After Christmas the likes of Catherine Gorman and Ziene Morriar step in with Semester 2 module activity focused on Tullamore / Offaly.