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The Erris Beo pipedream

By: 
Tom Gillespie - The Connaught Telegraph

[Shell to Sea] What Tom Gillespie failed to mention in this article is that Erris Beo is being bank-rolled by Shell

A new and exciting tourism initiative to transform Erris - Erris Beo – is set to highlight the outstanding cultural and natural heritage of the Barony of Erris. The venture involves a wide range of strategies including various marketing activities, media programmes, the organisation of tourist-related courses, and mobile phone applications.
The unspoilt beauty and vast wilderness of the region has gone unnoticed up to now. But all this is about to change.
Unfortunately, the Erris area has been in the media spotlight for all the wrong reasons resulting from the coverage of the controversial Corrib gas project.
The protracted saga has thrown up a gem of promotional advantages for the area in the award-winning documentary The Pipe.
While the on going opposition to bringing gas ashore at Glengad and on to the terminal at Bellanaboy is the theme of Risteard Ó Domhnaill's documentary, yet the hidden beauty of the region is very much to the forefront of the film.
At a press screening in Mayo Movie World, Castlebar, last month, I viewed The Pipe and while the bitterness that has become engrained in the community is a frightening aspect of the documentary, one cannot but be overawed by the stunning beauty of Broadhaven Bay, Rossport, Dooncarton Mountain and Sruwaddacon Bay as well as the magnificent seascapes.
Readers who have not viewed The Pipe will have the opportunity to do so tomorrow (Wednesday) night when it will be screened on TG4 at 9.30 p.m.
Certainly it is a story of a community tragically divided but look behind the protests and savour the wild and rugged beauty of the Barony.
At the heart of the Erris Beo initiative will be a state-of-the-art new website, which will feature regularly updated information and images about anything and everything that the area has to offer tourists.
The crucial difference with the website, which will be manned on a daily basis, is that it will be possible to book anything on it. It will not simply provide information – it will be an easy-to-use booking hub where one can reserve accommodation, restaurants, tickets, and so on.
Over €50,000 is being invested in the development of tourism in the area and the website will be included in this as it will be the primary marketing and promotional site for the Erris area.
The potential for Erris is vast and this initiative will open up the area to thousands of new tourists.
The product is unique and the marketing plan can only bring much needed tourism revenue to Erris in particular and Mayo in general.
One of the major attractions to the area is the Bangor Trail and the challenge it presents to eager hill walkers.
Erris has it all to offer and no doubt the Erris Beo project will bring it to the attention of many others.