A taste for tourism at ‘Visit Downings’ launch dinner – Picture Special

first_imgVisit Downings are stirring up a healthy appetite for tourism this year following a food-themed launch for the collaborative tourism group.Businesses from Carrigart, Glen and Downings gathered at Grape & Grain on Thursday 6th March to sample ‘A Taste of Downings’ and celebrate some of the best food tourism gems they have to offer.Guests enjoyed a six course tasting experience with premium dishes provided by local restaurants and hotels. A Taste of Downings – Shellfish Mornay from Singing Pub DowningsA Taste of Downings – Shellfish Mornay from Singing Pub DowningsA Taste of Downings – Beef Wellington from Grape and Grain Restaurant DowningsA Taste of Downings – Desserts from Downings Bay HotelGin from the Olde Glen Bar at the launch of Visit Downings 2019Celebrating the quality food of the region is just one of the many plans of Visit Downings in 2019.The business group was formed in 2017 as a marketing platform to promote and sustain tourism growth in the area. Members developed a website, Facebook page, What’s On guide and commissioned a video showcasing scenic highlights and amenities.The Visit Downings Committee: Mairead O’Connell (Singing Pub), Barry Connor (Downings Bay Hotel), Susie Coyle (Rosapenna Hotel), Cormac Walsh (Olde Glen Bar and Restaurant), John Casey (Rosapenna Hotel and Golf Resort), Chris Healy (Grape and Grain Downings), Seamus McGinty (Downings Coastguard Cottages) and Darragh McClafferty (Beach Hotel Downings)Visit Downings committee member Susie Coyle said exciting plans are in store for 2019. “We want to further develop our website, we want to increase our exposure on various media and social media channels and we want to increase the distribution and frequency of the What’s On Downings guide,” she said.Another exciting concept in the pipeline is a Visit Downings coupon book, combining discounts for local restaurants, businesses and activities. It is hoped that the books will be launched next season. A Taste of Downings in Grape and GrainA Taste of DowningsAlso in attendance was Minister for Education and Skills Joe McHugh, who lives in Carrigart.Mr McHugh said the launch was the “start of something very positive.”He pointed out that the strength of the Downings community is on the ground, in their collaboration and in their families.Minister Joe McHugh at the launch of Visit Downings 2019“A lot of the businesses in this area are family businesses. Everybody is in it together but also families are making that investment. They are taking the risk and ensuring that, not alone do they provide employment for this generation, but they are also looking to the next generation,” Minister McHugh said.Mr McHugh added that the Visit Downings initiative is an opportunity for locals to showcase what they value: “We have ways of threading through the great traditions we have and the great resources here. And the fundamental resource is the people we have.” Noel McBride, Fine Gael candidate in the upcoming local elections, also commended the group and highlighted the economic benefits and job creation that comes with an extended tourist season.Businessman and local election candidate for Fine Gael Noel McBride at the launch of Visit Downings 2019Joan Crawford from Failte Ireland at the launch of Visit Downings 2019A key aim of Visit Downings is extending the tourism season beyond the summer months. This was celebrated by Joan Crawford, Client Services Manager of Failte Ireland, who outlined the value of year-round tourism in Donegal.Ms Crawford said: “People don’t come for a bed anymore, people come for what there is to see and do in an area and this is why Visit Downings is so important because it will showcase that.”Ms Crawford added that Failte Ireland is looking forward to working with the organisation as it targets visitors from overseas markets, including France, Germany and the US. John Martin (Rosapenna Hotel & Golf Resort), Barney McLaughlin (Donegal Tourism), Caroline Britton (Donegal Tourism) and Seamus McGinty (Downings Coast Guard Cottages) at the launch of Visit Downings 2019Barney McLaughlin from Donegal Tourism was keen to point out that there is so much to savour in Downings:“People come for an experience, food is a big experience and what you have here is a true taste of what Downings has to offer.”“It’s great to see businesses coming together a working collaboratively,” he added.Maria Doherty, Sinn Féin candidate in the May elections, said she would be the biggest advocate of the initiative.Susie Coyle (Visit Downings) and local election candidate Maria Doherty at the launch of Visit Downings 2019Local county councillor John O’Donnell said that Donegal is entitled to boast about its many attractions.Cllr John O’Donnell at the launch of Visit Downings 2019Cllr O’Donnell said: “People will only visit Downings if we broadcast it throughout the rest of the world. The way we do that is when we travel near and far we tell people that Downings is open for business and we welcome people to all the facilities and amenities that are there.”There was a strong sense of pride among local businesses at the event. Through celebrating food and hospitality, showcasing scenery and marketing local activities, the group is confident that it will attract and impress many more visitors in the year ahead.Donegal Daily was there to soak up the atmosphere of the night in Grape & Grain, check out more photos below:Susie Coyle, Catherine Nic Laifeartaigh, Leona McMenamin and Grainne Shiels at the launch of Visit Downings 2019Joan Crawford (Failte Ireland) and Martina Rafferty (Waterfront Hotel Dungloe) at the launch of Visit Downings 2019Mairead O’Connell, Helena Gallagher and Mary Bowden at the launch of Visit Downings 2019John Casey (Rosapenna Hotel and Golf Resort), Chris Healy (Grape and Grain Downings) and Martin Casey (Harbour Bar and Fisk Restaurant) at the launch of Visit Downings 2019Collette Connor, Eileen Connor, Natalie Connor and Ale Connor from the Downings Bay Hotel at the launch of Visit Downings 2019Caite Fealty, Kevin Ward and Trés Connaghan at the launch of Visit Downings 2019Nicola Logue, Maggie Doherty, Francis Roberts and Bobby Roberts at the launch of Visit Downings 2019Hugh and Bridget Wilhare (Mulroy Bay Mussels) with Mary T Sweeney at the launch of Visit Downings 2019Martin Smith, Lorcan Connorr and Barry Connor at the launch of Visit Downings 2019Eddie McGroddy, Claire Doran and Frank Casey Jnr at the launch of Visit Downings 2019Visit Downings 2019Darragh McClafferty, Victoria McClafferty, Charlie McClafferty and Aisling Cullen at the launch of Visit Downings 2019Mickey Doherty and Charlie McClafferty at the launch of Visit Downings 2019A taste for tourism at ‘Visit Downings’ launch dinner – Picture Special was last modified: March 7th, 2019 by Rachel McLaughlinShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:CarrigartDowningseventsfoodglenGrape & Grainpicture specialtourismvisit downingslast_img read more

SA to invest R25bn in rail transport

first_imgPublic transport agency South Africa is to invest some R25-billion over the next three years on upgrading the country’s passenger rail services. “Increased spending on rail infrastructure will be of vital importance in the current economic climate and in sustaining jobs,” he said. Ndebele pointed out that Prasa had shown its capacity to absorb the huge capital allocation, and in some instances had exceeded the capital funds allocated to it. Rolling stock investment Tabling his budget vote in Parliament in Cape Town last week, Transport Minister Sbu Ndebele said that R14-billion of that amount would be spend on upgrading infrastructure and rolling stock, while the rest would be for funding rail operations. 6 July 2009 “We should be forward-looking and start investing in a manner that will meet future transport requirements,” Ndebele said. In March this year, the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) was created as the new state-owned rail and bus operator, merging the South African Rail Commuter Corporation, Metrorail, Shosholoza Meyl, and Autopax. According to an Engineering News report in March, property management and development company Intersite would also be consolidated into the 13 000-plus employee entity to “manage, maintain and upgrade stations, as well as to pursue projects that could extract value from the group’s substantial property assets”. Prasa has, since the 2006/07 financial year, accelerated its rolling stock investment programme, resulting in over 1 500 coaches being refurbished at a cost of R5-billion. “An additional 700 coaches will go through this programme this year at an estimated R2-billion,” said Ndebele, adding that Prasa was on course to eliminate the historical backlogs in the in the rail industry. He said that while the amount allocated by the government remained vital to the upgrading of rail passenger transport, there was a need to recognise that the intervention would not resolve the key underlying challenges facing rail in the long term. In an effort to make rail passenger travel safer, South Africa has also re-introduced the railway police on Metrorail services, and has steadily been increasing their numbers. Source: BuaNewslast_img read more

Rule proposed to level the playing field for organic dairies

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest A policy that allows a one-time transition of dairy cows from conventional to organic production has been inconsistently enforced, putting farmers who play by the rules at a competitive disadvantage and undermining the integrity of the organic label. However, a proposed rule would level the playing field by more clearly defining current regulations.The Origin of Livestock proposed rule, which was originally published in 2015 but has not yet been finalized, would allow organic dairy farms to transition conventional replacement animals into organic production only once, prohibiting the continuous transition that some farms have incorrectly practiced. In comments submitted, National Farmers Union (NFU), a longtime advocate of fair and commonsense organic rules and regulations, voiced support for the rule and urged its immediate finalization and implementation.“The organic label is only as meaningful as the enforcement of organic standards. But currently, the origin of livestock provisions are being applied inconsistently across the industry, allowing some farmers to repeatedly transition conventional replacement animals into organic production while others comply with the rules and only transition a single, distinct herd once. This practice not only confuses American consumers, who have certain expectations about what the organic label means, but also puts rule-abiding producers at a significant disadvantage and threatens the integrity of the organic program,” said Roger Johnson, NFU President . “By providing greater clarity on transition regulations and ensuring that standards are uniformly applied, the Origin of Livestock proposed rule would protect consumer confidence in the organic label and ensure its economic viability for family farmers. We urge USDA to act quickly to finalize and implement this crucial rule.”last_img read more

Farmers Urged to Maximise the Use of Technology

first_img He argued that a scientific approach to farming will “increase output and productivity, while at the same time preserving the land for the future.” Story Highlights Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Audley Shaw is urging farmers to embrace the use technology to produce high quality crops and to protect the environment. Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Audley Shaw is urging farmers to embrace the use technology to produce high quality crops and to protect the environment.Speaking at a graduation ceremony held recently at the University of the West Indies, Mona Campus, for the over 150 farmers, who participated in a 13 week training programme, Mr. Shaw said this was crucial for long term sustainability.He argued that a scientific approach to farming will “increase output and productivity, while at the same time preserving the land for the future.”The Minister noted that opportunities are available for farmers to grow onion, cassava, industrial hemp, coconut, banana, and sorghum.Mr. Shaw stated that the government is working to create new markets for farmers, adding that farmers can maximise the export opportunities provide through CARICOM.“As a Government, we are going to work on your markets, we are going to work on your linkages, because we want our farmers to have a better life,” Minister Shaw told his audience.Over 150 farmers from communities in the parishes of St. Thomas and St. Andrew celebrated the completion of the 13-week training programme in which they were taught how to implement climate smart land husbandry practices to improve their production.“The best way you can symbolize the importance of this training is to go forward and commit yourselves to productivity,” Minister Shaw said. Speaking at a graduation ceremony held recently at the University of the West Indies, Mona Campus, for the over 150 farmers, who participated in a 13 week training programme, Mr. Shaw said this was crucial for long term sustainability. last_img read more