Independent candidate in the upcoming Kerry County Council Elections for the Killarney Municipal District Niall “Botty” O’Callaghan has announced that he is to hold a Sports Forum if he is elected.
“For Killarney to maintain its position as the tourism capital of the country every aspect of the business must be examined. There’s one area in particular where I see the potential for growth. At the moment all sports are working on an individual basis. There are some great examples of sports tourism such as the Rallies, the Races, the marathon, adventure races and basketball. Also the twinning committee has organised golf and soccer visits from our sister towns. And Killarney Celtic has hosted international soccer games as well as pre season visits from Cork City and Shamrock Rovers. And now we have the micro track coming to fruition.”
“But there is huge potential out there in these and other sports. For example we could become a go-to destination for inter county GAA teams with our facilities, hill and mountain walks and the Centre of Excellence just out the road.”
No stranger to Kerry’s sporting scene, O’Callaghan previously held the position as senior selector with Kerry county champions Dr Crokes, as well as serving as Maor-Uisce to the Kerry team during Eamon Fitzmaurice’s reign is also a long-time member of Killarney Celtic FC and St Paul’s Basketball Club.
Speaking about his plans O’Callaghan went on to say “If I am elected I will host a Sports Forum along the lines of the Killarney Conference Bureau which will include all stakeholders including the sports organisations, Chamber, other business interests, KCC, media and PR with the purpose to develop a plan for attracting sports tourism to the town from which everyone benefits especially if we can attract visitors in the off season.”
Niall previously served on Killarney Town Council for two terms from 2004 as well as serving as the elected mayor in 2008. Of course the O’Callaghan family are well known in the Killarney area through their business; The Fáilte Hotel and have a tradition of being steeped in politics with Niall’s late father Dermot, a Fianna Fail member on the council for many years, also serving as Mayor.