Echo Letters: Tallaght has rich potential for tourism

Dear Editor,

TALLAGHT is the largest urban area in SDCC and has a village area dating from the 1st century. It is home to the many waterways, mountains, the Dodder Valley, 8th Century Ceile Dé monastic heritage, a rich literary heritage, sweeping mountain views, rural towns lands and national monuments (the St Maelruain’s monastic rampart in the village is older than the pale ditch).

It has rich potential for tourism – which we feel is not being fully harnessed. We are proposing seven outdoor amenities for Tallaght to leverage this potential and ensure the County Town has sufficient tourism appeal to compete beyond 2020.

Rovers Tallaght Stadium 3

Some require capital investment, others just to be scheduled in business as usual activities.

The current plans for tourism are creating unique amenities in physical clusters around villages. The current capital investment doesn’t appear to be running across all the defined clusters evenly.

We believe Tallaght sits in the mix as the weakest tourist cluster from a capital investment perspective, creating amenities with a wide tourist appeal.

We are seeking Cothrum na Féinne, parity of esteem for the Tallaght cluster.

Tallaght Community Council (TCC) believes Tallaght’s location, transport links and mountain views ideally place it to be #GatewayToTheMountain in the Great Outdoors tourism strategy.

A mountain / outdoor “basecamp” could be easily established to harness the SDCC owned stadium, Sean Walsh Park, the Dublin Mountain Way, Luas access and 4 hotels in the Town Centre area – as well as specialist outdoor stores in The Square and the Arena complex.

These proposed amenities would sit alongside the planned amenities for other clusters in a complimentary way.

Here are the TCC proposed tourist amenities to realise the geographical potential and existing infrastructure in Tallaght:

1. Create a physical “basecamp” for the great outdoors at the SDCC owned properties – Tallaght Stadium, Sean Walsh Park and the start of the Dublin Mountain Way (serviced by the Luas, the N81 and 4 hotels – walking distance). This would be the “starting point” to begin the ascent to rural Tallaght & the mountain flagship centre by foot.

2. Ballymount Gatehouse Conservation Project – Remove the ivy, stabilise the structure & light it up at night – create a prominent heritage landmark (on Luas line and visible from M50). What an easy but impactful historical “gateway”.

3. Proactive conservation and compliance for the Tallaght village ACA – a historic monastic centre of learning, with a dry ditch at St Maelruain’s – which is older than the pale ditch.

4. Maintain access to the parkland looped walk from Old Bawn bridge to Balrothery Weir in the Dodder Valley Park.

5. Formally apply for and deliver a Green Flag for Sean Walsh Park – compound the parkland / recreational potential here.

6. A landscape (hard and soft) and signage upgrade for the first 2 Km for the Dublin Mountain Way. Complete paths, increase planting, bio diversity and amplify this existing walking trail e.g the Wicklow Way in Marley Park.

7. Build a New Viewing Tower and Café facility around the Tallaght Stadium / Sean Walsh park area (SDCC owned) – to capitalise on the stunning mountain views from this vantage point, the start of the Dublin Mountain Way trail. Similar towers in Germany have cost less than €700K – see recent European examples.

We invite any and all interested parties to give us your feedback – we are open to meeting any/all. This will be discussed at our AGM on Tuesday 23rd of May at 8 pm in St Maelruains church. In the meantime, please feel free to fill in our online survey on the proposal – www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/8RGKS6Q  

Le Meas, Gerry Stockil,TCC Chair 2016/17 and all the TCC voluntary committee.

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