This Tourism committee was set up originally as The DAT Group in 2009, but later grew to incorporate the surrounding villages of Cullahill, Ballacolla and Clough as it was felt there was a greater need to promote what exists in all of the area. With our closeness to North Kilkenny the residents in this region felt there was a need to also promote villages and Towns in their area and became part of the project. In 2011 the name of the group was changed to South Laois Tourism which would have the support of North Kilkenny with Durrow, Ballinakill, Ballyouskill, Ballyragget, Lisdowney, Gathabawn, Johnstown, Rathdowney, Cullahill, Erill, Donaghmore, Ballybrophy, Clough and Ballacolla all represented. The aim is to promote tourism in the area and to increase the number of visitors to our beautiful countryside. By doing so business in the area will benefit from the increased footfall and therefore more jobs will be created.
Many events have cross county boundaries e.g. The MacGiolla Phadraig Way Walk held on Easter Monday and the October Bank Holiday Monday is a 17km cross country walk with start points in Durrow Co. Laois and Gathabawn, Kilkenny County. Canoeing on the Goul River and Nore River also sees participants cross the county border at various locations.The Mid Summer Cycle Challenge ( Ten Town Tour)held in June promotes the Cycle Trails in both Counties.
South Laois Tourism is a voluntary community group which hold monthly meetings. The Officer Board is as follows:
Chairman: Michael G. Phelan (087) 2395357
Vice Chairman: Vincent O’Sullivan
Secretary: Stephanie Phelan
Assistant Secretary: Barbara Walsh (087) 6015862
Treasurers: Ger Alley
PRO: Paddy Fitzparick
Along with 20 plus committee members.