Michael Cawley, Failte Ireland
WHILE many towns and cities across the world have taken steps to ban ‘Stag and Hen’ parties, the new Failte Ireland chairman says Limerick should actively pursue this market.
Michael Cawley says Limerick could in effect become ‘Stag City’, and “go after” this sector.
Speaking at the University of Limerick, where the tourism body held a board meeting this week, Mr Cawley also said “there is a lesson to be learnt” from cities like Newcastle-upon-Tyne in England, which is famous with husbands and brides to be celebrating their final days of freedom.
“I am not familiar with the detail of what Limerick has to offer. But I do know there are some damn good pubs there. There is good hospitality, and some excellent attractions during the day for these types of visitors. Then there is obviously rugby,” he said.
“Newcastle has done really well from stag parties and hen parties, and there is a lesson to be learnt there,” he said, “I’m sure Limerick can benefit from this market. Building events around this that can being people in is key.”
Mr Cawley’s call was welcomed by Mayor of Limerick, Cllr Kieran O’Hanlon.
He said: “The vast majority of stag and hen parties are great fun. People come along and enjoy themselves. There is good business to be had for shops, restaurants and pubs. You will get the odd situation where people misbehave. But I certainly think it would be worthwhile, as we have Shannon nearby. It would be good promotion for Limerick if it was properly managed.”
Helen O’Donnell of the Limerick City Business Association admitted she would “prefeer other markets”.
“But business is business. And if you have people staying hotels certainly at down-times of the year, we would welcome it. Obviously I do not want us to become the stag and hen capital. But if that’s how Failte Ireland seeing us growing our business, I’d have no major objection,” she said.
Dr James Ring of the Limerick Chamber has welcomed the proposals, but said the city needs a good youth hostel to cater for this market first.
Last orders have already been called on stag and hen parties in tourist hotspots across Ireland, with many bars carrying a notice discouraging these revellers.
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