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An extended CV – why I’d make a great sports ambassador for Ireland

Calling all Adventure and Activity Providers


Would you like to be the new Ireland Adventure and Activity ambassador?

Do you want to represent Ireland, your industry and your company at the 2011 Adventure Travel Trade Summit in Chiapas, Mexico on the 17th-20th October 2011

The Adventure Travel Trade Summit is an annual conference that is organised by the Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA).  Now in its 8th year the ATTA Summit will offer travel professionals a unique platform to network with a worldwide adventure community, exposure to business and professional development opportunities, interaction with international journalists and experience firsthand new and exciting product developments.  For more information on this event visit

To be in with a chance to participate at this prestigious event *, please complete the attached application form A, completing all sections and return to the address below no later than 12 noon on the 2nd September 2011.

Applications will then be shortlisted and may be invited to present their proposal to a Fáilte Ireland panel in September.


*Applicants must be available to travel from 14th -23rd October 2011.  Attendance, travel to/from Chiapas, Mexico, B&B accommodation for the duration of the event will be covered by Fáilte Ireland.  Attendees will be responsible for their own meals, refreshments and other expenses, other than those that are included as part of the summit.  Only one applicant/delegate per company allowed.


Attending the Summit Anyway?

FáilteIrelandis also interested in hearing from trade who are members of the ATTA , who have already registered to attend thisSummitinMexicoin October and would be interested in participating on the Irish stand.

Assistance for attendance at theSummitwill be available to such individual who commit to a daily shift at the Irish Stand during the course of the event.

Completed application form B must be returned by 12 noon on 2nd September to:


Adventure and Activity Ambassador Programme,


Destination Development Unit,

88-95 Amiens Street,




Application Form A

Activity and Adventure Ambassador Programme


Contact Details


First Name:    Peter             Last Name:    O’Connor                                   

Company:                Glenribbeen Eco Lodge________

Address:                  Glenribbeen Eco Lodge                  

          Glenribbeen LISMORE, Co Waterford

Phone No:                086 6017176 EMAIL ; 


  1. 1.                 Please describe briefly the activity of your business and a profile of its customers.  Please include demographics such as age, nationality and group composition.  Also indicate if you are currently working with any overseas tour operators.  What evidence can you show of your business offering bundled packaged offers i.e.: activity, accommodation and food element?


We are an accommodation provider with a strong emphasis on eco-friendly ways and activities and music.

We run a 3* B&B with a self-catering apartment, an archery school and a music school. We offer free use of our Canadian canoe, bikes, kites, fishing gear, (wind) surf board and various garden-games (boules, horseshoes, garden skittles/dominoes etc). We provide specialist information on walks, scrambles, biking, fishing, golf, diving, canoeing and Irish traditional music.

For an objective profile see article from Irish Times 4th Aug 2011;

Our demographics have changed as a result of the broadcasting of the “At Your Service” TV programme and the recent Irish Times article. We have always relied on the Irish market for about 33% of our customer-base. This has suddenly lurched to 55%+ as a result of our heightened profile. While mainland Europe was traditionally our main source of guests – since gaining the EU Green Flower Award we have seen an upswing inUKguests as well as American attracted by the idea of a holiday experience without the footprint. The age profile is impossible to gauge except that we get fewer senior citizens from US than Europe and 50% of our clientèle base is between 24 and 40 at a guestimate.

Up to 3 years ago we would have claimed 60% (mainland) Europeans and 20% UK20% Irish. As the UKnumbers fell, the Irish rose and for the first time we started getting significant N. American and especially Irish visitors. In the last 3 years the numbers of Irish guests have risen to the point where the Irish guest figures are more than the rest combined. We – as an eco-friendly B&B are especially pleased with this as it means we have arranged pick-ups with the regional and local buses and we bought a 7-seater car with our details prominently displayed on it as a courtesy-car. We drive people to designated walks or pick up after walks or from the bus-stations as well as providing a restaurant pick-up service. We work closely with the local hackney as well as bike-hire, fishing-trips and canoe safari.

Glenribbeen guests borrow canoe and enjoy a riparian lunch.

We offer archery or music lessons to all multiple-night guests as well as the use of canoe and bicycles. We have a purpose-built ‘wet/dry’ area in the basement (with shower) for guests to come in in wet gear and change in privacy and warmth before coming into the house proper.

We also offer packed lunches and flask-fill (indeed we regularly fill flasks for fishermen that pop up from the nearby Blackwater River for same). Multiple night bookings are offered reduced rates (€20,-/night) as well as free sports activities and/or music lessons. Anyone interested is brought into the local music sessions to experience the craic – from the inside.

Fishing on Blackwater - at Dogpool.

At Glenribbeen Eco Lodge we also create our own art-forms as Els is a painter and I work with wood and stone. We used to work with Wishy Martin of Lismore Art School to provide accommodation and alternative activities for families/friends of student artists. I also do a little stone-wall building and have a small meditation hut built from stone and thatched roughly that is much admired. It was built after doing some courses locally  and acts as an advert for these courses. Some of the stone carvings I’ve made have even been exhibited and two were sold. Naturally I’m delighted to encourage (especially younger) people to ‘have a go’ and have a small school desk and necessary tools set up especially for ‘stone chipping’. ‘Stone Mad’ in Tipperaryhave donated chisels.

  1. 2.                 How do you feel your business would benefit from attending such an event? How would you measure success?

Our business could indeed benefit from attending such (or any) event if only because as a musician (and sometime singer) I can represent the best of Irish culture in foreign lands. I have representedIrelandinCanada,Cuba,Zambia, N. Africa and all overEurope. In fact our band Sin É were the first band ever to busk on the streets of and Eastern Block country (Hungary 1983) and I’ve played Irish music at functions both causal (weddings and folk-clubs) to Opera houses (Budapest, Havana, Amsterdam) as well as crossing the Sahara – walking for large parts of same. My skill with languages as well as non-verbal communications have stood me good stead over the years and I feel I can reach audiences/potential guests that others might not. Our business is one that can handle any foreign guest with grace and aplomb and communications are rarely a problem as we both have small amounts of different European languages and I am a T.E.F.L. teacher.

As an accommodation provider in an area steeped in history – of which I can converse extensively and great walks Glenribbeen has a lot to offer the discerning guest. We have gentle looped walks starting – literally at the gate/s and more challenging walks of the East Munster and South Tipperary as well as the walks highlighted by Barry Keane (New Irish Walks and Scrambles – 4) and Tom Lawton’s Short Walks in Ireland as well as an extensive collection of Irish Times Go Outdoors that save each week to help our guests decide and plan walks. Any exposure of foreign guests to such facilities can only help them decide to come here. We try to work with others either directly – pooling rooms during peak times or via internal B&B e-messaging to provide a holistic experience for the guests and this can only benefit both the tourist and the business.

By careful development of this area – there are plans for instance for the opening of more walks and especially sections of the old railway line sympathetic structures can be put into place that would make West Waterford (and E. Cork) an area of excellence as there is so much to develop that is almost virgin territory. From the Copper Coast starting indeed back at Dunmore East or even Waterford City and following the rail line to Dungarvan before going inland to Lismore and then following the R666 up the Blackwater to Fermoy, thence South to Middleton and then either East back via Youghal to Dungarvan to the Mahon Falls and back East via Kilmackthomas or West to Cobh and the ferry-boat over to West Cork – the whole area can be routed and maped in a way that tourists can experience the magic of the Sunny South East and the myriad coves and sheltered vales to the traditional music trail of Dungarvan, Cappoquin, Lismore, Ballyduff (The Booleyhouse), Youghal CCE and experience the Rory Gallagher ‘museum’ in Middleton as well as the Heritage centres there (Lismore – home of Robert Boyle, Valentine Greatrakes the Strooker-healer) Youghal Heritage Centre and Foxes’ Folk Museum – and SO much more.

Glenribbeen is already the centre of a movement in providing an eco-friendly holiday experience and indeed if we were busier we could fact take interns on to help us and to learn our ways of keeping the sector green. I’ve long argued that Irelandalready has a ’green image’ and that can and should be built upon. For me – I would measure success in the form of getting more tourists to visit the area and to get more accommodation providers to ‘go gree’ and enhance Ireland’s green image abroad.

Lucinda our escapologist hen will do anything for grapes - even dance.



  1. 3.                 How would you propose to sell the wider Irish outdoor activity product and the Irish experience?  What is your pitch?

Living, as we do, 300m from the last ‘tidal-pool’ on the Blackwater River – out door activities abound – from a gentle riverside walk – where even in late evenings I can take groups on the Glenribbeen Bat-Walk along the Fisherman’s Path – we also go there to watch the salmon and white trout jump and occasionally see the huge seal that follows the salmon 28kms upstream every year. We go otter spotting at the Kitchenhole – another favourite salmon-fishing spot 800m from us on the N72.

The river allows for white-water slaloms to gentle paddling – fly-fishing to water-skiing – canoe-safaris to slow-boat bird-watching. Sailing and kayaking are immensely popular and there are lots of small quays to tie up at and eat alfresco – note that McGrath’s Butchers in Lismore have process own organic beef and lamb and have a considerable reputation for the finest of products. Right behind our B&B is Glenribbeen Organics a registered organic farm that supplies most restaurants and shops in the area as well as farmer’s markets. Local GAA clubs are strong and welcome guests to watch even try having ‘a go’ at a sliothar and hurl. A recent push by local businesses to speak Irish to the clients and customers has been helped enormously by Lismore’s entry into G-Force for TG4. Most bars and shops will make the effort and signage is now bi-lingual.

The open roads are particularly suited to cyclists and walkers alike and following the Blackwater along the banks and exploring the many (open) gardens and vistas is especially rewarding. This area is but one hour’s drive from eg the English Market in Cork City  (or Cork Airport) and one hour from Waterford’s Crystal factory (and airport).

West Waterford is sheltered by mountains to the North but just over them via the stunning vistas offered by the Vee is Cahir Castle – the biggest Norman castle extant in these islands (with a brilliant permanent display of the siege in story and model) and just beyond that Cashel – The Rock. The Brú Brú music centre is at the foot of that.

As well as Waterford having the only Green Flower Award south of the border counties  for eco-accommodation Waterford is of course world renown for it’s crystal glass and there’s no place in Waterford more than an hour away from the Waterford Crystal factory – perfect entertainment for a rainy day – but so too is the Mitchelstown Caves that are in fact near Burncourt and thus in Waterford’s NW area.Ardmoreand Tramore too have their share of outdoor adventure and right between is Bunmahon home to the world surfing championships some years ago.

 DungarvanCastleand Lismore Heritage are great places to learn about Irish heritage. And now there is a possibility of  ‘sea-water baths’ at the old fishingharbourofHelvic– an old Viking settlement.

West Waterford can keep petrol-heads happy with Autograss racing every Sunday of the season in Ballysaggart with the ALLIreland“Fastest Man on Grass” in September. Racing too regularly near Dungarvan and between the two is Rally Connections – a rally school for all levels of off-road-driving. Where young drivers can blow off steam.

The East Blackwater is within easy reach too of many coves and bays along the coast as well as cycle distance from some of the best hill-walking in Ireland. It might also be said that this area of Ireland– the lower Blackwater Area is one of the least known of the jewels in the Irish crown and one that is ripe for tourist development. A common comment from (Irish) first-time visitors is “I never knew that there was such a beautiful area in Ireland– it’s a hidden gem”.

  1. 4.                 Please outline briefly in a paragraph below, in no more than 200 words, why you think you should be one of the new Ireland Adventure and Activity Ambassadors?


As a musician of good standing and an archer, canoeist, Advanced PADI sport-diver, wildlife enthusiast and hill-walker with a knowledge and love of all things Irish I decided to settle in West Waterford after spending 20 years abroad because I feel this corner of Ireland has so much to offer – but I dare say that I can bring my enthusiasm to reach out to all areas of Ireland and just as my sister Eilish and I started Doolin as a music venue in the mid ‘70’s – I can promote Ireland as an adventure centre for all activities to the world – activities including sporting, literary and cultural.

In 1993 working with Bord Fáilte’s ICI I was the person that suggested that the Transpersonal Institute hold their series of seminars in Ireland and 1600 doctors and psychiatrists came to Killarney where a huge marquee had to be erected at the back of the Great Southern to accommodate them. I also MC’d the concert on the last evening – performing twice (solo) before joining in with Cherish the Ladies group in the finale.


EDEL MORGAN; Irish Times

Go Magazine – 12th March 2011

IT’S A FREE WORLD: ALL GUESTS at Glenribbeen Eco Lodge B&B between Lismore and Cappoquin, CoWaterford are offered either “a go” of a musical instrument, the chance to learn a tune or have an archery lesson.

Tip-nock-hand-elbow. Nice line.

The three-star B&B, winner of an EU Eco-Award, invites guests to listen to the stream as it flows past the house or use the thatched tower to meditate by the fish pond. Collect your own eggs for breakfast, or pick fruit for a snack and borrow kites, bikes or fishing gear for the day. The owners, Els and Peter, are on hand to offer advice, maps and guidebooks. Single rooms cost from €40 a night in low season while doubles are from €70. The more nights you stay, the cheaper it gets. They also have kennels for dogs.

Catch : a “holistic” B&B with people wandering around playing musical instruments and flying kites might not be everyone’s cup of tea.

Take note : see

Glenribbeen Eco Lodge B&B and Self-Catering, Archery and Music School.

Irish Times

Go Magazine – 12th March 2011


EDEL MORGAN; Irish Times

Go Magazine – 12th March 2011

IT’S A FREE WORLD: ALL GUESTS at Glenribbeen Eco Lodge B&B between Lismore and Cappoquin, CoWaterford are offered either “a go” of a musical instrument, the chance to learn a tune or have an archery lesson.

The three-star B&B, winner of an EU Eco-Award, invites guests to listen to the stream as it flows past the house or use the thatched tower to meditate by the fish pond. Collect your own eggs for breakfast, or pick fruit for a snack and borrow kites, bikes or fishing gear for the day. The owners, Els and Peter, are on hand to offer advice, maps and guidebooks. Single rooms cost from €40 a night in low season while doubles are from €70. The more nights you stay, the cheaper it gets. They also have kennels for dogs.

Catch : a “holistic” B&B with people wandering around playing musical instruments and flying kites might not be everyone’s cup of tea.

Take note : see

Irish Times Go Magazine – 12th March 2011


The criteria for winning the E.U. Green Flower Award;


GOLF in Waterford; 

County Waterford boasts some of the finest golf courses in Ireland, with panoramic views of the County.

With Lismore Golf Club located on the banks of the Blackwater River, beside Lismore Castle and Dungarvan Golf Club set against the backdrop of the Comeragh Mountains and runs adjacent to Dungarvan bay, golfing in county Waterford is a must.

Carrick Golf Club
Clonmel Golf Club
Dunmore East Golf Club
Dungarvan Golf Club
Faithlegg Golf Club
Gold Coast Golf & Country Club
Lismore Golf Club
Tinhalla Golf Course and Driving Range
Tramore Golf Club
West Waterford Golf & Country Club


Watch out for information coming about the new Knockmealdown Vee forum that has been set up to make sustainable use of the Knockmealdown Mountains for ‘citizen health’.


As an accomodation provider with green credentials we tend to see tourism as a good thing abet one that can be bad for the environment. We offer ‘ A holiday experience without the footprint’ so as to minimise the effect of vacation-ing. Our accommodation is super green (see; and we offer Canadian canoe, bikes, kites, fishing-gear, garden-games, music and archery lessons to mitigate the carbon print from travel. We also pick-up from the bus/airport any public-transport users. There are things we all can do to lessen the effects of holidaying away from home – be it in the travel part the accommodation part or a bit of both. Let’s not forget travel broadens the mind and making friends in foreign fields may help stave off wars – a really bad eco-option for all.

We grow herbs for the kitchen right at the steps of the kitchen – and have a large rosemary bush to give pieces of to drivers to use as air-freshener and later perhaps in cooking.

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  1. Pingback: Kongress "Wasser, Wälder, Wölfe" – natürlich mit dem Bogen! | 3D-Bogensport

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