An Taoiseach Enda Kenny was in his home town of Castlebar last Saturday to launch Love Castlebar, a civic pride initiative which promises to bestow Ireland’s warmest welcome upon visitors to the Mayo town, and in this year of The Gathering 2013 will ensure that those making the trip to Castlebar will enjoy an unforgettable experience.
By simply registering their details on lovecastlebar.com, visitors will be appointed their own local welcome ambassador whose role will include greeting you on arrival, bringing you on a tour of Castlebar and helping you discover all the local hidden gems the town has to offer. As an added bonus and where possible, ambassadors will be equipped to assist visitors in tracing their Co Mayo roots. To date more than 100 Mayo natives have volunteered to act as ambassadors for Castlebar.
This voluntary initiative has received widespread cross community support, with businesses, clubs, society and leisure amenities in Castlebar taking part. Visitors to Castlebar will also receive a ‘Love Castlebar Card’, which will entitle the holder to discounts and special offers in more than 100 venues, including 10 per cent off purchases in participating retail outlets, and quirky experiences like joining a free bodhrán workshop or learning to pull the perfect pint.
Speaking at the launch An Taoiseach commented: “The Gathering 2013 represents a wonderful opportunity for our Diaspora to come and visit Ireland this year. The Love Castlebar initiative is a powerful example of how citizens are organising in creative ways to ensure the warmest of Irish welcomes for all guests. I congratulate Helen and the team for their ingenuity and all the individuals and organisations in Castlebar, my home town, who have come together to support this initiative.”
Helen O’Hara, the energy behind the project, explained that the idea owes its inception to The Gathering 2013 and the belief that we have a great responsibility to make the experience for those visiting Ireland this year a memorable one. Ms O’Hara said: “There has never been a better time to visit Mayo’s most historic town. The positivity in Castlebar is electric, and we promise that the warmth of a genuine welcome awaits visitors seeking a truly unique experience.”