Cllr John Dolan

Bid to have a food trail established in Athlone

A bid to have a dedicated food trail established in Athlone was made at the June meeting of the local municipal district last week.

Cllr John Dolan, who called for the food trail, was told that the promotion of the food story of Athlone has been completed “to a very high standard” as a result of the setting up of the Athlone Food Circle in 2019. The initiative, which received specific funding from the LEADER Programme, was set up under the umbrella of Destination Athlone, with ongoing support from Westmeath County Council, Athlone Moate Municipal District and the local Chamber of Commerce.

The written response from the council in response to Cllr Dolan’s motion said the local authority will “continue to support and assist Destination Athlone in their work and will support further initiatives of Athlone Food Circle” to promote the food offering in Athlone."

Cllr Dolan said he was prompted to bring his motion before the council as a result of discussions he had with people involved in the food industry in Athlone. “We would like to get the conversation started,” he added, pointing out that Athlone has “every type of food offering” but it needs to be highlighted.

“For that reason I am calling for the establishment of a food trail and perhaps we could bring out a booklet in conjunction with the Chamber of Commerce and the Tourism Officer, who should sit down with the restaurant owners and see what ideas they can come up with,” said Cllr Dolan.

The motion was seconded by Cllr Vinny McCormack who said the people of Athlone are “very lucky" to have such a varied food offering in the town.

Director of Services Barry Kehoe told members that Athlone already has a

food network, but he said he would ask the Chamber to report to the next meeting of the Strategic Policy

Committee (SPC) of the council to see “what are the obstacles to creating a food trail.”