LIFETIME achievement awards were yesterday presented to three people described as icons of tourism development in the Blackwater Valley.
Those honoured at a Blackwater Valley Tourism (BVT) business breakfast in the Hibernian Hotel, Mallow, were Noel C Duggan, from Millstreet, Catherine Gyves, from Mallow and Christy Roche, from Fermoy.
Mayor of Mallow and BVT chairman Cllr Noel O’Connor said all three contributed hugely to the promotion of the scenic river valley as an attractive location for visitors.
He said Mr Duggan has been demonstrating for years sustainable tourism can reflect the ethos of the region through a wide range of events at his Green Glens complex.
These have included the Eurovision Song Contest, international and national show jumping, world boxing contests and the world caravan rally.
Mr O’Connor said Ms Gyves, commercial director of the Hibernian Hotel in Mallow, represents all that is best in portraying the Irish character to visitors through her good humour and bubbly personality.
He said her association with the Hibernian goes back to 1966 when President Eamon de Valera stayed in the hotel during a visit to Mallow for a 1916 commemorative pageant.
He said Mr Roche, who established Avondhu Tourism and is a director of Blackwater Resource Development, was honoured for his work in helping to develop rural Ireland through tourism, especially walking holidays.
Cork hurler Seán Óg Ó hAilpín, a commercial manager with Ulster Bank was guest of honour and the other speakers were Mayor of Co Cork, Cllr Tom Sheahan and Marie Keane from Fáilte Ireland South.
* Blackwater Valley Tourism also, yesterday, launched www.blackwatervalley.ie
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