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Laois Heritage Trails launched as part of Ireland’s Ancient East
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Laois Heritage Trails launched as part of Ireland’s Ancient East

Laois Heritage Trails launched as part of Ireland’s Ancient East

Laois’s place at the heart of Ireland’s Ancient East has been confirmed with the launch on Monday 19th September of the new Laois Heritage Trails audioguides and smartphone app. The new project, which was funded by Laois County Council and Fáilte Ireland, aims to entice independent overseas visitors to visit and stay in Laois, and to explore all the rich heritage the region has to offer.

 

Audioguides to the cultural sites of the Laois Heritage Trail and Laois Monastic trail are now available in French, German, Spanish, Italian and Mandarin, as well as English and Irish. The guides form the backbone of a new multilingual Smartphone App to guide visitors to the Laois Heritage Trails, and help them to explore the stories of Ireland’s Ancient East.

 

Speaking at the launch, Head of Ireland’s Ancient East, Jenny De Saulles explained –

 

“Ireland’s Ancient East is a new concept we are developing here in Ireland that brings visitors face to face with the history and tales of the local area, deepens their experience of all the rich history and heritage that lies amongst our lush green landscape and gives them lasting memories that they can return home with. Laois Heritage Trails are ticking all of these boxes with their new app and audio visual guides which is why Fáilte Ireland were delighted to support them.”

 

Three key sites were selected as hubs for visitors to the Laois Heritage Trails – Donaghmore Workhouse, Timahoe Round Tower and Heritage Centre, and Abbeyleix Heritage House. Each of these sites is staffed by enthusiastic local people, who are passionate and knowledgeable about the stories and lore of the Ireland’s Ancient East region.

 

In addition to multi-lingual flyers, each of the key sites now also has a new short film on the stories of Laois, to introduce visitors to the story of Donaghmore Workhouse, the story of the saints and early Christian sites of Laois and the historic towns of the county. Like the audioguides, these short films are available for visitors in French, German, Spanish, Italian and Mandarin, as well as English and Irish. Booklets describing the Laois Heritage Trail and Laois Gardens Trail are also now available to download in each language.

Laois Heritage Trails launched as part of Ireland’s Ancient East

Laois Heritage Trails launched as part of Ireland’s Ancient East

 

Speaking at the launch, Cllr John King, Leas Cathaoirleach of Laois County Council said “Laois County Council is very committed to promoting the Ireland’s Ancient East brand and we were delighted to work with Fáilte Ireland and Laois Tourism in developing this project, which I know will bring great dividends for communities, heritage sites and tourism providers across County Laois. We look forward to working closely with Fáilte Ireland into the future to further develop and promote the wealth of cultural heritage just waiting to be explored in Laois”.

 

He continued “Ireland’s Ancient East promises the visitor 5,000 years of history, told by the best storytellers in the world. With this project, we here in Laois are showing the world how much we have to offer to all aspects of those stories, whether it’s sites like Donaghmore telling the story of big houses and hard times, or the tales of sacred Ireland told in Aghaboe, Killeshin and Clonenagh, or the stories of anglo-Norman knights like William Marshall at the Rock of Dunamase, Laois has so much to offer the intrepid visitor and now we have the tools to bring those stories to our visitors in their own native languages”.

 

Full details of the Laois Heritage Trails project are available at www.laoistourism.ie and www.laois.ie. The Laois Heritage smartphone app is available to download from the Google Play store and the Apple app store.