Full-time guide must be secured for Sean MacDiarmada home before 2018 tourist season

Leitrim Observer Reporter

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Leitrim Observer Reporter

OPW will provide support for MacDiarmada's cottage

Sean MacDiarmada's Cottage, Kiltyclogher

The huge tourism potential surrounding the home of 1916 signatory, Sean MacDiarmada in Kiltyclogher is being lost because there is no funding in place for a full-time tour guide over the busy summer season.

At yesterday's council meeting, Cllr Sean McDermott asked Leitrim County Council to engage with the Office of Public Works (OPW) and the Kiltyclogher Community Council to ensure a tour guide is in place for the 2018 tourist season.

Whilst funding was provided by the OPW towards the provision of a guide during the 1916 centenary celebrations, this funding was not continued into 2017 and "we lost out on huge tourism potential" said Cllr McDermott.

The Fine Gael councillor added "better solution needs to be in place" for 2018.

He also asked the Council to source funding for information panels on site at the cottage adding "it is very important to have these panels for tourists that visit outside opening hours."

His proposal was backed by Cllr Felim Gurn who said there is "nothing worse" than to "see people come, sometimes from great distances away, to visit the home of Sean MacDiarmada, and find it closed up".

"Sean MacDiarmada played a very significant role in Irish history and the OPW needs to step up and do more to support the local community council," he said.

"Who knows how many people would have come to visit the home of Sean MacDiarmada last year if it had been open." 

Cllr Justin Warnock also backed the proposal noting this house "belongs to the people of the county and it should be open to the people of the county".

Cllr Des Guckian offered his wholehearted support acknowledging the key role played by Sean MacDiarmada in the history of our nation.

Director of Service at Leitrim County Council, Mary Quinn, said the Council will try and accommodate funding for signage at the cottage and will engage with the OPW in relation to the provision of a guide for 2018.