Visitor numbers soar at Offaly village during pandemic

“We're victims of our own success at this stage.”

Gearoid Keegan

Reporter:

Gearoid Keegan

Visitor numbers soar at Offaly village during pandemic

The mountain bike trails in the Slieve Blooms have proved hugely popular

VISITOR numbers have increased dramatically to one Offaly village during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Cllr John Clendennen has called for an off-road track to be provided between Kinnitty and the Slieve Blooms to cope with the surge.

The Fine Gael councillor urged Offaly County Council to submit an application under the outdoor recreation infrastructure scheme so that a fully pedestrianised, safe and enhanced link with the village can be constructed.

Cllr Clendennen, who runs a pub and accommodation business in Kinnitty, said there has been a “huge increased number of visitors” to Kinnitty and the Slieve Bloom mountains over the last six months in particular over the course of Covid-19.

“We want to ensure that all visitors to all of our sites right across the county are safe and provided with a good experience,” said the councillor.

He said safety is a “huge matter” given the numbers being seen in the area.

“We're victims of our own success at this stage in terms of what we've seen from tourism promotion and from the development of greenways and trails.”

Mountain bike trails are being developed in the Slieve Bloom mountains on both the Laois and Offaly sides and the facility has proved a winner for leisure enthusiasts.