Thurles Tourist Office: “We want to promote what is local”, says Tour Guide

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Located in the heart of the town of Thurles, the tourist office is a place where visitors and residents can find out about the department’s heritage sites.

Tipperary Heartland Tourism Group opened the tourist office last September to become a central point for all things Thurles.

Tour guide Rachael Cooke said the purpose of the office is to share what Thurles has to offer.

“We want to have a base in Thurles where people from anywhere in the country can tell what’s local? What’s here? Where can I go?

“We want to be that hub for them.

“We want to let them know where to go, point them in the right direction, so yeah, that’s the goal,” Rachael said.

Heart of Tipperary

Tipperary Heartland Tourism Group is a voluntary organization which aims to promote heritage sites in

Thurles and its surroundings.

This includes but is not limited to Holycross Abbey, Farney Castle and Cormackstown Heritage Centre.

The group started eight years ago with several objectives, including the opening of an information center in Thurles.

Thurles Tourist Office

The tourist office was initially delayed by the pandemic with Tipperary Heartland due to open in early 2021.

It finally opened in the fall of 2021 and now staff and volunteers want the people of Thurles to come visit.

Jane Ryan from Tipperary Heartland said the tourist office is a great way to find affordable activities over the Easter holidays.

“It’s not just here for tourists.

“It’s here for locals who want to hang out. You know the school holidays are coming up now and you want something to do with the kids.

“There’s so much stuff we have that people don’t know is on our doorstep,” Jane said.

According to Rachael, the desktop has many features to help visitors, and it looks great too.

“I love the way it looks. I think it’s so cool to have a building like this in Thurles.

“Getting down to work in an office like this is really nice.

“I love our pictures on the wall. I love our new TV screen where we show pictures because when people come in we can tell you can go here and there.

“I think it’s a beautiful building,” Rachael said.

According to Rachael, the building itself has been in Thurles for a very long time.

It was previously a bank and the GAA museum.

“It’s one of those buildings that’s been here on Main Street for a really long time and it’s really nice to be able to work in a building that has that history,” Rachael said.

With a little help from the District

The development of the Thurles Tourist Office has been funded by the Towns and Villages Fund administered by Tipperary County Council.

It is run by a combination of staff and volunteers. According to Rachael, the volunteers are always ready to tell the local story to visitors.

“The volunteers who come are always very interested in local history, and you know, sharing what’s around the place.

“So whenever someone comes in, there will always be people with that interest and eager to share,” Rachael said.

Besides information, the office can arrange tours of the Lár na Páirce Museum.

Lar na Pairce Museum

The building also houses the Lár na Páirce Museum.

The Lár na Páirce Museum, owned by the GAA, was established by a group of volunteers to display the Sam Melbourne Collection and promote the history of the GAA. He now has an impressive collection of medals, hurleys, jerseys and awards.

According to Discover Ireland, the museum is home to hurling’s oldest trophy, the Silvermines Cup, and is the first interactive museum for Gaelic sports.

The opening of the tourist office saved the GAA museum as it had to close.

Tipperary Heartland now operates the museum in addition to the tourist office.
Promote Thurles

Recently the Tipperary Heartland Tourism Group produced a brochure with details of heritage sites and activities in the Thurles area.

Areas covered are Holycross, Upperchurch, Templemore, Loughmore and Littleton.
You can pick up a copy of the Thurles booklet at the tourist office.

“Thurles is a very good hub. It’s really close to everything. It’s easy to get to.

“You can get off the road and there will always be something you can see,” Rachael said.

The Thurles Tourist Office is open from 10 a.m. from Tuesday to Saturday.

“We want to promote what’s local and help people find their way around the county,” Rachael said.

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