The Big Sell

The East Inishowen Business Association has major plans to regenerate the area.

Last night the chairman of the association, Brian McDermott, said amongst the myriad of plans they would be launching a website next month, undertaking a massive social media campaign and inviting newspapers and broadcast media, both locally and nationally, to the area sometime next month for what he described as ‘the beginning of the fightback to regenerate this area’.

Asked to comment on some negative reports about the situation locally Mr. McDermott said he would not be ‘going there’.

This week the Journal learned the well known gift shop, Select, had closed down after many years trading in the town. In recent months the lack of both hotel accommodation and restaurants in what was once one of Ireland’s top tourism towns has also been highlighted.

Mr. McDermott said much of this was exaggerated and inaccurate adding that ‘there are far more beds available in this area than many people believe.”

The well known chef said it was time to sell the positive: “We had a meeting of our association this morning (Thurs) and we have put together both a very focused and realistic strategy to regenerate this area.

“We are not naive; we know what we are up against. We cannot bring an end to the global recession nor can we sort out the generic problems out there. What we can do is sort ourselves out.

“We are launching a major fightback. We know we have to do it ourselves. We cannot afford to wait on government or the politicians.

“We have undertaken a lot of research, a lot of analysis and we have come up with what we believe is a very realistic and achieveable plan.

“Already the response we are getting - and this is before we have even gone public - is tremendous. Some of the major tour operators and other marketing people out there have been in touch.

“Inishowen is one of the great undiscovered parts of Ireland. Years ago we had a lot of very discerning visitors, people who came here because they knew what we had to offer.

“Nothing has changed since then in any respect. We still have the water, the moutains, the bio-diversity. You can go skiing, hill walking, bird watching, cycling, and enjoy a great night’s crack.

“Now we are going to sell that whole package world wide. We are positive we can do it.”