The beautiful Blackwater: Alice Daly’s capture, taken at Lismore, which was the Autumn 2009 winner in the RTÉ Weather photo competition. Alice, from Dungarvan, is also pictured with RTÉ’s Nuala Carey collecting her prize at an awards ceremony in Dublin the week before last.

West Waterford TD John Deasy and his East Cork party colleague, Deputy David Stanton, have jointly called for a new approach to marketing and promoting the River Blackwater as a tourist destination.

The Fine Gael backbenchers, who between them represent both sides of the river boundary, are in the process of coordinating an initiative to market the river as a single entity.

Deputy Deasy believes “it makes a lot of sense to market the Blackwater area as a single entity. There is a lot to offer on both sides of the river and as a single destination can easily provide a saleable tourist package for almost any kind of holiday. When you dig a little you quickly realise the range of activities is extremely diverse, the quality and range of accommodation is really impressive and the natural beauty of the area is fantastic.

“The trick is to put all that together in one package,” he asserts. “We have a number of separate tourism groups and bodies in the Blackwater area effectively doing the same thing. The idea is to suggest coordinating everything with the help of the relevant tourism boards.”

Both deputies had been contacted independently by constituent groups involved in tourism activities on both sides of the border with a similar view to coordinating a joint marketing approach for the Blackwater area.

Deputy Stanton said: “We have both had initial meetings with different groups and have been in contact with the relevant tourism boards who have agreed to look at the concept and meet within the next week or so. I think we need to take stock of our assets in the area and think of better ways to sell the product as a whole.”

(Details of how to enter the competition are available on