Minister Hackett with Tommy Corrigan and Karina Gaetani, Ballyshiel Artisan Foods

Local businesses "the beating heart of rural Ireland"

Minister Hackett highlights the need to support local businesses calling them the beating heart of rural Ireland.

Speaking in the Seanad this week she highlighted her recent visits to local producers “One such business is Ballyshiel Artisan Foods, producers of delicious, chocolate based products, made from locally supplied milk. They told me that they are exploring the potential to expand into food tourism, to combine their produce with the local beautiful bogland landscape. What a unique tourism offering and I look forward to it.”

“Wonderful also to hear of Ferbane Food Campus collaboration with local farmers for short supply chains. This is something my Department and Food Vision 2030 supports.”

The Minister said that Laois and Offaly have wonderful examples of ecotourism, mentioning Ballintubbert House and Gardens in Laois, recently awarded full organic status, and Mount Briscoe Organic Farm in Offaly offering traditional and not so traditional accommodation options.”

“And soon-to-be solar powered outdoor swimming pool in the gorgeous village of Ballinakill - another wonderful ecotourism attraction. The village is hosting the Pride of Place judges on Friday – so the very best of luck to them.”

Concluding, she said “So from Ballinakill to Ballyshiel, Ballintubbert to Mount Briscoe, and so many more I could mention – these are the hidden gems in the hidden heartlands of Ireland, and with their wonderful entrepreneurial spirit, together with the support from relevant state agencies, and government support for greenways and blueways, they won’t remain hidden for long.”