The opportunity to attract more visitors to Newbridge next year through the Gathering 2013 was discussed at last week’s monthly Town Council meeting.
The motion was raised by Councillor Micheal ‘Spike’ Nolan to promote Newbridge as part of the government iniative to link Ireland with the 70 million people around the world who claim Ireland as their ancestral home.
“I was at the launch of the Gathering in Kildare recently and the aim is to get 335,000 people into the country in 2013,” he said.
“The launch was held last week in the Kilashee House Hotel. This town has a part to play and I would like to see it endorsed and to reach out to the whole community for feedback. How can Newbridge promote itself? This is a unique opportunity. We could contact the Chamber of Commerce and the businesses, and focus on the Curragh and HRI.”
Cllr Paddy Kennedy raised the option of running a music festival in line with the gathering in Newbridge.
“I’d like to run a music festival,” he said.
“A lot of people in the army would have lots to offer as well.”
Town Manger John Laharte said that there was an effective way of getting tourism into Newbridge stressing that ‘there is no need to reinvent the wheel’.
“It is important that what ever events occurs that we get it on the national diary as soon as possible,”he said.
“It costs nothing to put it up for example put in the St Patrick’s Day Parade.”
He added that there are two angles that need to be explored which include the potential for local buinesses and the demobilisation of people to Newbridge from ex-pats living away.
Cllr Pat Black said there could be a “golden opportunity” through the various sporting clubs in the town to contact former members who are now living away.
Meanwhile all councillors agreed that the next step was to contact the Chamber of Commerce and get some feedback “to push it forward” and keep the item on the agenda.
- Paula Campbell