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Travel & Tourism

Ministers hold Progress Meeting on All-island Rail Review

Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon and the Minister for Transport, Eamon Ryan T.D. held their first progress meeting with the consultants ARUP who are taking forward the all-island Strategic Rail Review.  

This All-Island Strategic Rail Review, will consider how the rail network on the island of Ireland can improve sustainable connectivity between major cities and towns, enhance regional accessibility including to the North West and support balanced regional development across our island. In addition, the Review will consider the feasibility of higher speeds on the network and whether there is a potential to increase use of the network for freight. ARUP were appointed in July to carry out the review.

Minister Mallon said: “The appointment of ARUP was an important step forward in delivering our All Island Strategic Rail Review and I welcome the opportunity to meet them today, along with Minister Ryan to hear the progress that has been made and importantly to personally convey a shared North South ambition for this important work which will allow us to consider and improve our rail network across this island for everyone.

“I am pleased with the detailed work already carried out by ARUP and share with Minister Ryan the determination and dedication to make progress on this key project as quickly as possible. I have huge ambitions for our rail network on our island and it was encouraging to hear the shared vision at today’s meeting. There are real opportunities for communities across Ireland and significant benefits that a better connected island could bring not just to people but also for our environment. With the Climate Crisis and the immediate challenges facing our natural environment, Minister Ryan and I have once again recommitted to working together to deliver clean and green transport on the island of Ireland. This transformative project is key to our joint effort.”

Travel & Tourism

Experience an ‘out of this world’ Christmas at OM Dark Sky Park and Observatory

The Chair of the Council, Councillor Paul McLean and Santa enjoy the Christmas OM Odyssey as part of the OM Santa Experience at OM Dark Sky Park and Observatory.

Enjoy an ‘out of this world’ Santa experience this Christmas at OM Dark Sky Park and Observatory.

This Christmas, children can enjoy a Santa experience with a difference at the new star gazing facility at Davagh Forest in the foothills of the Sperrin mountains.

During the OM Santa Experience, children, and adults alike, will be utterly ‘star struck’ as they are taken on a tour of the unique facility and then watch the Christmas OM Odyssey, a bespoke festive film capturing Santa’s magical journey through the sky on Christmas Eve.

The festive film will be screened on the side of the OM building, with families watching from a dedicated viewing area using individual headsets.

Children will then get to write their letters to Santa in the crafts room before getting to deliver them in person to the man himself during a special visit where they will receive a stocking full of goodies.

The OM Santa Experience will run over three weekends beginning on Sunday 28 November and finishing on Sunday 12 December. Tickets cost £10 per child and adults go free (limited to two adults per family).

Chair of Mid Ulster District Council, Councillor Paul McLean is pleased the Council can offer this festive event to families in the district.

“The last 20 months have been extremely difficult for all of us and none more so than for our children who have had to endure so much and adapt to different ways of doing things in almost all aspects of their lives. Christmas is a time of joy and celebration and so it pleases me greatly that we can offer this one-of-a-kind magical Christmas experience to families and children in Mid Ulster this Christmas.

“This year marks OM’s first Christmas, having only opened its doors to the public in June this year. The Santa experience is the perfect debut seasonal event for the centre, complementing and enhancing its already established and successful offering and extending its appeal to the family market.”To book your tickets for the OM Santa Experience, go to:www.omdarksky.com or telephone the Observatory on: 028 8676 0681

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Travel & Tourism

Stream This Year’s Beef & Lamb Championships Online!

The fourth Royal Ulster Premier Beef & Lamb Championships, in partnership with principal sponsor Bank of Ireland will be streamed online on Tuesday 23rd November 2021 live from the Eikon Exhibition Centre, Balmoral Park, Lisburn.

Last year’s stream proved popular, reaching thousands of spectators worldwide and this year, the Royal Ulster Agricultural Society (RUAS) will once again stream both the show and sale at the premium beef and lamb event.

On the day, visitors can watch the Championships live via a link posted on beefandlamb.org.uk as well as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. They can also tune directly into the Royal Ulster Premier Beef & Lamb Championship’s You Tube channel.

The showing of premier beef cattle and lamb will take place on Tuesday 23 November at 11am. This is followed by the highly anticipated auction taking place from 6pm.

This year the event will open its doors to the public and tickets will be available to purchase at the gate. Buyers can opt to attend the sale in person or they can bid for champion livestock online through Beattie Livestock Sales on MartEye. Conditions of entry (proof of COVID-19 status) can be found online at beefandlamb.org.uk.

Admission is £5 for adults and FREE for under 12’s when accompanied by an adult. Young Farmers’ Clubs of Ulster (UFCU) members’ admission is £2.50 and a valid membership card must be presented. Entry for RUAS members is free of charge.

To keep up to date with the latest news visit beefandlamb.org.uk or follow the Royal Ulster Premier Beef & Lamb Championships on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

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