Local pride can be a national asset

LOCAL leadership in provincial Ireland has been important over the past 200 years and we owe much to the Christian churches for the parish structures they put in place.

These form the base unit of most of the major organisations in this country.

The pride we all have in our native parish, especially in sport and local affairs, is only matched by our interest in the history of our native place.

Most of all we in Co Tipperary owe a great debt of gratitude to the revered patriot Charles J Kickham for his immortal phrase “for the sake of the little village” in his novel, Knocknagow, which has inspired Tipperary people to achieve so much that earned us the label Premier County.

Each parish in Co Tipperary — be it Lattin, Cullen, Emly Bansha, Aherlow, Solohead, Tipperary, Donohill or elsewhere — has its own distinctive claims to fame. Most have their own parish anthems in local ballads, their famous historic locations and famous sons and daughters of the past and present.

We have so much of immense value to boost local tourism that we tend to overlook. It is time we demanded greater promotion and marketing of Co Tipperary and other regions as major tourist centres. It is also time to revisit the benefits of the co-operative system at parish level to promote enterprise and create local employment.

Why not use parish co-ops that may qualify for EU and State supports to market tourism and the products of local enterprises, including tourist accommodation. As we face new economic challenges, everyone has a role to play in protecting employment and creating new jobs by favouring home-produced products over imports.

We must request retail outlets to expand their range of Irish products and all of us should select those that do for our shopping. If we are to play our part in maintaining and providing jobs for our people in the current climate, we must favour Irish products of equal quality and value over imports.

Michael Maguire MCC

Lattin

Co Tipperrary

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Wednesday, September 22, 2021

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