Failte Ireland doesn't know its Trim from its Tara - wrong signs erected on ancient hill

You are here. Or are you?

Ireland's Ancient East, the Failte Ireland campaign, has erected its new signage on the Hill of Tara - telling visitors they are in Trim.

The large spiral wheel tells visitors that they are in Trim, where they can take the Trim town walking tour, and float along the Boyne. These activities are two and five minutes' away from the sign on Tara.

Meanwhile 20 kms away (in reality, across the gate), you can "experience the majesty of what was once the  seat of the High Kings of Ireland, including our stone of destiny, the Lia Fail."

Locals are saying that this once again highlights the indifference of the tourism and heritage authorities towards the Hill of Tara, and the need to take it more seriously.

"But it was dark by the time they got it finished, so maybe they couldn't see what they were doing," added the local, who said at least three trucks and an army or workers were on site to erect the signage last week.

A year ago, Fáilte Ireland began erecting its orientation signage for Ireland’s Ancient East with "attractive newly designed signs" installed at the Dunbrody Famine Ship Experience, New Ross, Wexford; Ferns Castle, Wexford; and Wicklow Gaol. These three signs were part of the first phase of a multi signage programme envisaged for Ireland’s Ancient East with similar branded orientation signage expected to be in place at 80 key sites throughout the region by the end of 2016.

Fáilte Ireland’s Head of Ireland’s Ancient East, Jenny De Saulles said at the time: “For too long, most overseas tourists have seen the south east, midlands and north east as a region to travel to for a day or simply just to travel through. Ireland’s Ancient East seeks to change all that by creating enough ‘stickiness’ and points of curiosity that visitors will slow down, explore the region and stay overnight. These signs are geared to encourage that behaviour. Strategically located at popular stopping points, they inform visitors of all the other interesting things to see and do within an hour’s drive in every direction outwards”.

Shaped as a large spiral wheel, each sign highlights a range of sites within up to 60 minutes’ drive away from the sign location to encourage visitors to extend their stay and visit more than just the primary sites. The design uses two curved circle frames that slide together with the inner circle containing a graphic panel wrapped around the base plinth with a wider circle spiralling out to a second curve - thus creating the illusion of a Celtic spiral. 

Ultimately, the signs have been designed and positioned strategically to:

Make it easy for the visitor to find out about all the great things to see and do:

Cross-sell nearby tourist attractions and points of interest that are part of the Ireland’s Ancient East story, thereby encouraging visitors to explore the area and make connections with other places within the region;

Present the story of Irelands Ancient East in a joined-up fashion and strengthen the core values of the brand.


Ms De Saulles added: “We want to transform Ireland’s Ancient East from a transit zone to a touring zone by increasing visitor dwell time in the region. Furthermore, we intend to promote a greater dispersal of visitor traffic across the region by encouraging the exploration lesser known sites and experiences along with our key signature attractions. These signs work to that objective and will, we hope, encourage visitors to explore the rich variety of all the region can offer.”

We anticipate that the sign on the Hill of Tara (a hideous looking eyesore in this writer's opinion), will do nothing but confuse the poor tourist!