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Shannon Development launches new i-Trails adventure in the Shannon Region

The hidden treasures of Lough Gur in County Limerick are to be unveiled this weekend (17th June) when two new i-Trails initiatives are launched at the Lough Gur Summer Solstice Festival. Jointly developed by Shannon Development and the Lough Gur Development Cooperative Society, in association with the Heritage Council, the new i-Trails aim to enable visitors to find out more about this mystical and enchanting place of stone circles, megalithic tombs, crannogs, ring forts and castles.

Speaking about the significance of the new i-Trails product, a first for the Shannon Region, Ruairi Deane, Shannon Development Tourism Product Development Executive, said: “Lough Gur is one of Ireland’s most important archaeological and historical sites.
Shannon Development is delighted to be involved in this new i-Trails development which will enhance the visitor experience.  Previously, through a Shannon Region Trails Programme, the Company concentrated on the physical development of trails and now we are moving to a more evolved level in terms of promotion, additional services and products.”

“The new i-Trails can be downloaded for free onto your mobile phone or MP3 player, and visitors can experience a self-guided audio tour of this rich historical heritage site, and explore 5,000 years of ancient civilisation.  The area has over 130 listed sites, 28 of which are designated national monuments, and we were extremely fortunate to have been able to draw on the knowledge and experience of the Lough Gur Guides Service. The audio tours are a mix of narration, poetry, traditional music and song and will complement the existing visitor services at Lough Gur.”

Local historian, Michael Quinlan of the Lough Gur Guides Service said: “The i-Trails are a wonderful combination of folklore, drama, history and archaeology, and we were delighted to be involved in this project. I would like to thank Roseanne Dunne from Lough Gur Development Cooperative Society, and all the members of the Lough Gur Guide Service for their assistance.”

Magical Lough Gur i-Trail covers a distance of 2.5 kms and guides you around the lakeside bringing to life the rich history, folklore and culture of this enchanting and fascinating place. Hear about Hempenstall, the wicked hangman known as the “Walking Gallows”, listen to Sissy O’Brien recount tales of 19th century life from the ‘Farm by Lough Gur’ and learn about the Earls of Desmond, one of Ireland’s greatest noble families, and their mighty fortresses at Lough Gur.  Along the way discover the remains of a farming settlement at “The Spectacles” and the “Crannog” or ancient lake dwelling at Bolin Island.

Legendary Lough Gur i-Trail uncovers ancient monuments, unearths archaeological treasures, and relates the legends that surround them through prose, poetry and song. This audio guide reveals more of the wealth of mythology, history and culture associated with Lough Gur. It is a linear route of about 4.5 kms, which you can walk, cycle or drive as you explore the 7th century stone forts at Carraig Áille, learn the secrets of the Megalithic Giant’s Grave and Neolithic dwellings at Knockadoon, or visit the largest and most complete stone circle in Ireland, the Great Stone Circle at Grange.

Highlighting the tourism potential of the project Flan Quilligan, Shannon Development Tourism Product Development Manager said: “Over 3 million overseas visitors engage in cultural/historical visits while in Ireland and over 800,000 overseas visitors enjoy walking or hiking activities. Cultural tourism is worth an estimated €1.9 billion annually to the Irish economy, while walking holidaymakers generate an estimated €215 million for the economy.  We believe that a visitor attraction like Lough Gur, which combines cultural/heritage tourism, walking and the latest technology, has the potential to attract additional visitors and generate revenue for the area.”

The new i-Trails product is being launched at the Lough Gur Summer Solstice Festival, which takes place over the weekend of Friday, June 17th to Sunday, June 19th 2011. The Festival kicks-off with a Variety Show on the Friday night (tickets €10) at the Honey Fitz Theatre, featuring Aisling O’Leary’s play “Trapped by Fear” performed by the County Limerick Youth Theatre. A whole host of young and upcoming musicians and artists will perform on the night, including local traditional musicians Cairde Ceol.

A fun filled family day is planned on Sunday, June 19th from 1pm-6pm on the shores of Lough Gur . Entrance is via the main car park at Lough Gur and admission is €5 per adult and €2 per child, once inside all activities are free. You can try your hand at kayaking under the expert tutelage of the Kilfinane Outdoor Education Centre, join a guided walk at the Heritage Centre and find out more about the history, folkore and archaeology of Lough Gur, be entertained by the award winning Fanzini Brothers and Tony Baloney the clown, browse through the craft market, or just sit back and relax with a family picnic by the lake.

Experience living history with “Legion Ireland”, a professional military re-enactment group, who will recreate a Norman encampment from the 13th century on the shores of Lough Gur. The group will give performances throughout the day, with displays of military combat, cooking and clothing, providing a wonderful insight into Norman life.  Also performing at the family fun day will be the Irish Youth Harp Orchestra.  These accomplished young musicians, aged 9-14 years, will be donning their bardic harps to join the solstice celebrations.

Other events planned over the weekend include the Willie Carroll Memorial Skittles Tournament on Saturday, June 18th with proceeds in aid of the Cliona Ring foundation.

Lough Gur is free to explore all year round and the Interpretive Centre opens daily during the Summer season, admission €5.

The two new audio walks of Lough Gur have a running time of 60 minutes each, but you can take as long as you need by pausing the recording as and when is required. To download Magical Lough Gur i-Trail or Legendary Lough Gur i-Trail and your free Lough Gur i-Trails brochure, checkout or visit

New Lough Gur i Trails launched

Caption:  Ruairi Deane, Shannon Development Tourism Product Development Executive (right), testing out the new i-Trails adventure at Lough Gur with from left, Michael Quinlan of the Lough Gur Guides Service; Roseanne Dunne, Lough Gur Development Cooperative Society and Aoife Cowman, Shannon Development Limerick Development Division.


Notes to Editor:

The Shannon Region Trails Programme is a Shannon Development led initiative working with local authorities and other key partners to develop a series of walking and cycling trails throughout the Shannon Region.  Since its commencement in 2007 over 50 projects involving overall partnership investment of €4.2 million have been developed.

The Honey Fitz Theatre gets its name from John Francis Fitzgerald (1863-1950), mayor of Boston and grandfather to President John F. Kennedy, whose family emigrated to Boston from the Lough Gur area.  John Francis Fitzgerald was known as “Honey Fitz” because of his beautiful singing voice. 

 For further information please contact:

Nandi O’Sullivan, Corporate Communications Manager, Shannon Development
Tel: 061-710259/ Mob: 086-2371510

Patricia Quilligan, Communications Executive, Shannon Development
Tel: 061-710325/ Mob: 086-2525347






For further information please contact:

Nandi O’Sullivan
Public Relations Manager
Tel: +353 61 710259
Mobile: +353 86-2371510
Fax: 061 363180
E-mail: Click Here

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