It could have been a local Wicklow shamrock to go down in history with our patron saint had the locals not had other ideas. Legend has it that St. Patrick initially arrived by sea to Wicklow but the locals drove him away by throwing stones at his boat!
Storytelling gems like this could transform the local economy by engaging and attracting visitors to the area and Wicklow is determined to harness the opportunity.
Wicklow Enterprise Park, Wicklow Chamber of Commerce and Wicklow Tourism have launched ‘Wicklow Tales’, an initiative drawing on the opportunity of Fáilte Ireland’s storytelling marketing programme for Ireland’s Ancient East.
With Wicklow Gaol one of the iconic visitor destinations on the trail, the town plans to leverage the marketing opportunity provided to benefit the entire local retail and hospitality sector.
Over a hundred guests from the local business, hospitality and tourism sectors attended the launch of the initiative at Wicklow’s Historic Gaol last Wednesday night.
They were treated to an evening of legend, folklore and storytelling which drew on Co. Wicklow’s rich heritage – both historic and fabled. Local author Chris Rush was on hand to share some of his personal experiences of the paranormal in Wicklow Gaol.
Wicklow Enterprise Park manager Emeir O’Connell showcased how these stories can be adapted to all aspects of business life to create an unforgettable customer experience.
The Jailers Rest Café demonstrated how the initiative can be applied to the catering sector by telling a series of stories through their colourful menu of nibbles served on the evening. From Captain Halpin’s Crab Bites to St. Patrick’s Pan-fried Pork, there was a story behind every bite.
Meanwhile Wicklow Tourism presented transparent mini-laminated stories for shop windows that can be used across the retail sector.
‘Wicklow Tales’ is encouraging the Wicklow business community to embrace the opportunity to benefit from the storytelling theme of Ireland’s Ancient East.
“Wicklow Town & District Chamber are delighted to be associated with the launch of ” Tales of Wicklow,” which we are confident will play an important role in the promotion of Wicklow Town as having a distinct product to promote as part of Ireland’s Ancient East,” says Wicklow Town and District Chamber president Pascal Burke.
Fred Verdier , of Visit Wicklow.ie says ‘Ireland’s Ancient East gives Wicklow a tremendous opportunity to gain extensive exposure both in Ireland and abroad. This great initiative will bring Wicklow’s stories and legends back to life and offer a new perspective into this great county. ‘
Orla Woods of Fáilte Ireland says “Stories and storytelling lie at the heart of Ireland’s Ancient East and, from Fáilte Ireland’s point of view, it’s really encouraging to see such a great community engagement with the brand. ‘Wicklow tales’ promotes local stories and has successfully inspired locals to share tales which we know will intrigue and motivate visitors to explore the destination further.”
Emeir O’Connell, manager of the Wicklow Enterprise Park says “We hope this evening will encourage local businesses to give life and legs to the Ireland’s Ancient East brand in Wicklow, and to collaborate and cross promote within the community .”