The Purple Flag Award is a new initiative given to towns that offer residents and visitors an enjoyable, vibrant evening and night time economy.
The flag was formally raised on Friday evening last by the McGloin family with the Cathaoirleach John McCartin. The McGloin family were selected to raise the Purple Flag following a media campaign in the Leitrim Observer to select the family or individual who should have the honour of jointly raising the flag.
Just as a Blue Flag indicates a beach is safe for swimming, a Purple Flag indicates that a town is a safe and versatile place to spend an evening out.
A working group made up of stakeholders from the local authority, business and hospitality sectors in Carrick on Shannon worked throughout 2015 to achieve this status for the town.
The Steering Group continues to meet to ensure that the Flag is retained in future years.
As part of the application process a public perceptions survey on the offering in the town was carried out during 2015 and over 200 people gave their perception of what Carrick on Shannon has to offer as a place to go out at night. Over 80% of those surveyed felt that their perception of the offering at night in Carrick on Shannon was good or very good, 79% of respondents felt that the town is welcoming for visitors while 62.9% perceived the town’s night life to be varied and vibrant. The town’s hospitality sector fared very well with 79% rating the selection of bars, restaurants and cafes as good or excellent.
The main reasons given for visiting the town at evening/night were eating out (63.5%), pubs and bars (57%), shopping (27.3%), takeaway food (24%), leisure and sporting facilities (22%) and cultural activities (20%).
There are areas where, according to respondents, improvements could be made most notably with regard to parking and signage with 55% of respondents feeling that signage and information on access could be improved. These are currently being looked at by groups set up at the end of 2015 .
The survey will be repeated again this year to ensure continued improvements.