Wednesday, 4th July 2012
The Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Minister Leo Varadkar T.D. officially launched ‘The Butler Trail’, a new tourism initiative by the South Tipperary Tourism Company.
As part of the launch at Ormond Castle in Carrick-on-Suir, built by Black Tom Butler in anticipation of a visit by Elizabeth the 1st, the Minister observeD a demonstration of medieval weaponry and clothing, bringing to life the day to day realities of an influential and wealthy family like the Butlers.
Ahead of the national launch Minister Varadkar said: "The Butler Trail will be an important new tourism attraction in the south east, particularly in Clonmel, Cahir and Carrick-on-Suir. It fits perfectly with the large number of heritage and cultural attractions already available in the south east. These Irish Heritage sites are a vital part of our tourism package.”
"The Butler Trail will encourage visitors to spend more time in each of the towns and will help to promote Tipperary as a tourism destination. I would like to pay tribute to everyone involved in this project, and I look forward to the trail being extended further in Tipperary, Waterford and Kilkenny.”
The new trail links the Butler family’s history and architecture with the three towns of Clonmel, Cahir and Carrick-on-Suir and stretches thirty-eight kilometres along the River Suir, giving visitors an opportunity to explore the history and the buildings of the Butler family and to, in turn, discover the character of the towns they influenced.
The Butler Trail is part of an initial three year strategy led by the South Tipperary Tourism Company that will see continued development of the cultural built heritage in the region. It is intended that the Butler Trail will expand to include Fethard and Kilcash in 2013 and further develop into Counties Tipperary, Kilkenny and Waterford in the coming years.
Encompassing the natural and cultural resources in the area, including tourist attractions, activities and accommodation, the Butler Trail was developed following eighteen months of research and consultation with the towns involved.
As one of Ireland’s leading historical families, the Butlers left an indelible mark on the history and architecture of South Tipperary. Exerting large influence over the region, the first descendent of the Butlers, Theobold Fitzwalter, arrived in Ireland in 1185, which, as Chief Butler to King John, was entitled to ten percent of all wine imported into the Country. A wealthy family who enjoyed the favour of the British royals for centuries, the Butlers became established in Carrick-on-Suir during the 1200s and remained one of the country’s leading families until the 18th century. They continued to have ownership of Cahir Castle until 1961. The impact of the Butlers can be found throughout the area, from local history to the impressive architecture of Ormond Castle, The Main Guard, Cahir Castle and the Swiss Cottage.
Tony Musiol, Chairman of the South Tipperary Tourism Company, who also attended the launch, said, "The Butler Family has played an integral part in the history of South Tipperary since early medieval times. Its influence and output is particularly evident in the three towns of Carrick-on-Suir, Clonmel and Cahir and through the Butler Trail, visitors can explore this impact on many levels. From architecture to history, local heritage to the environment that shaped them, the Butler Trail provides a guide to the past and present of the people of South Tipperary, opening up a new level of understanding for visitors to the region.”
The Butler Trail is an initiative by the South Tipperary Tourism Company, supported by South Tipperary County Council, South Tipperary Development Company, Fáilte Ireland, Office of Public Works and the Tipperary South County Enterprise Board. Full details of The Butler Trail can be found at http://www.discoverireland.ie/thebutlertrail
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