In this week’s And Finally, we cover all things trust and local government, share your dark tourism recommendations, and celebrate 200 years of education at County Limerick’s Ahane National School.
And Finally... 27 October 2023
Our weekly round-up for everyone in local government.
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Highlights from this week: your dark tourism recommendations! Plus, new resources on trust, an executive panel & a poll to shape our research.
Your dark tourism recommendations!
Last week, we asked for your recommendations of dark tourism worth visiting or your experiences with dark tourism sites in your local area. You gave us loads of great ideas! Here are some of our favourite submissions:
🏰 Olive Farrelly, Tourism Officer at Offaly County Council recommended "Leap Castle in Co. Offaly, arguably the world’s most haunted castle. Built in the early 1500s under the supervision of the powerful O’Carroll clan, the Leap Castle has a turbulent and bloody history and is said to be home to many spirits. While the Leap Castle is a private residence (yes, people actually live among the spirits!), it is open to visitors from 10am-5pm on Monday-Saturdays. The owner, Sean Ryan, legendary tin whistler, will show you around and might even play you a tune or two!"
⛪ Simon Blom, CEO at LGA Procurement, recommends Sedlec Ossuary, just outside of Prague in Kutna Hora, describing it as "A small church decorated with over 40,000 human skeletons. Simultaneously eerie and beautiful".
⛪ Claire Herbert of the Aberdeenshire Council Archaeology Service explained her the work of her service and council in maintaining Aberdeenshire's historic churches: "We actively encourage people to visit our historic ruined churches and associated graveyards (now closed to new burials). Our Historic Churches trail guides visitors to 12 historic churches & graveyards across Aberdeenshire, and we suggest visitors take time to explore the surrounding graveyards to learn the stories of the parish, the people and events, their triumphs and tragedies. Within these graveyards, we also have interpretation boards which explain what the various memento mori symbols on gravestones mean as well as discuss the stories of some of those buried. We also talk about the body snatching phenomenon where the graveyards have mort houses and mort safes. Aberdeenshire Council runs a Historic Assets Management Project to manage and maintain assets such as historic graveyards, carrying out repairs as & when required".
⛓️ We also received an anonymous recommendation for Wicklow's Historic Gaol, owned by Wicklow County Council, describing it as "Ireland's best interactive Jail Museum, located in the heart of Wicklow town. Wicklow Gaol is an unforgettable journey through an original prison building, telling the stories of the men, women and children imprisoned here over two centuries of turbulent history. The Gates of Hell at Wicklow Gaol is Irelands Premier Virtual Reality experience. Guests are transported back in time & immersed 360 degrees in 3 unique stories from the Gaol history, set in authentic cells in the Gaol building. It is multi-generational & multi-lingual.
Paranormal activity at Wicklow Gaol has earned the building the reputation of one of the most haunted places in Ireland. Wicklow Gaol was, for many years, a place of horrendous atrocities in which prisoners were subjected to torture, starvation and death. Many might scoff at the idea of ghosts. Many others believe that a place such as this, with its dark and sordid history, could very well harbour the spirits of those who previously lived or worked here. Come and visit, if you dare!"
✨ Finally, Susan Murphy of Louth County Council recommends the Lú Festival of Light, which takes place in Drogheda with free family-friendly shows nightly from the 27th-31st October and the 2nd-4th November this year. Lú Festival is an audiovisual spectacular light show retelling the tales of Irish myths and legends.
Quick question: Last chance to tell us your dark tourism recommendations...
For Halloween, we'll be casting an eye on all things 'dark tourism'. We want to know what dark tourism destination you found the most interesting, moving or even chilling! If you haven't told us yet, here's your last chance!
Do you have a dark tourism site in your local area – tell us about it. Is there local government involvement in its management or related tourism? We'll compile our favourite submissions in a blog! We're just looking for a sentence or two.
Something wicked this way comes! Get a taste here:
Keep your eyes peeled for our dark tourism edition of Global Local on Halloween 🎃 featuring interviews with the mayor of Salem and leading academics in the field of dark tourism.
🎧 Podcast: The under-explored relationship between local government and dark tourism
We chatted with Dr. Beth Heidelberg from Minnesota State University, Mankato, to discuss her niche specialism: local government’s relationship with the dark tourism industry. Providing insightful case study analysis from her field research of US dark tourism hotspots like Salem, Clear Lake, Holcombe and Amityville.
Global Local: The value of trust
Are we living in an age of post-trust politics?
As LGIU celebrates its 40th anniversary, local government faces a pivotal moment. Traditional challenges like funding and growing demand for services and infrastructure clash with emerging issues such as climate change, populism, and complex technology. The LGIU@40 campaign leverages our deep experience in local government yet fixes on the future. Focusing on three key areas – participation, trust, and finance – we've collaborated with members and the broader sector to develop innovative approaches for improving local government. A manifesto, set to be published at the end of the year, will offer a roadmap to transition from aspirations to actions and establish a solid foundation for local government to successfully exploit the opportunities and overcome the difficulties ahead.
In this latest edition of Global Local, we showcase a brand new trust collection, with an exploration of challenges from working with communities to working with partners, explore how councils can recover trust in an age of misinformation, plus the best from the rest - reports on trust from leading think tanks.
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We’re all about celebrating and showcasing the best of local government. Everyone can read, enjoy and share our open features and interviews.
Outpacing change – How to see the future without the past
Predicting the future is a core skill for policy makers and budget controllers – but how do you do that when traditional methods are losing effectiveness? In this think piece, Georgie Smith from Upsides Training explains how predicting future events isn’t as hard as you might think.
Online absent vote applications: one pressure too many for the strained electoral sector?
LGIU’s work on voter ID demonstrated the serious pressures faced by elections staff in England. At the end of this month, a new and half-finished system will be introduced across England: online absent vote applications. In this article, Dr Greg Stride explores how a good idea can be implemented in the wrong way.
Poll: Help shape our dark tourism and local government research
We’re seeking to understand better the complex industry of dark tourism and its relationship with local government. We want LGIU members to help us. Your input in our poll below can shape the direction of our research in partnership with academics at Minnesota State University.
Navigating the peaks and troughs in local government – Interview with NILGA President Cllr Matt Garrett
Elected for a second term as President of NILGA, Cllr Matt Garrett chatted with Thomas from LGIU to discuss his time in local government and future ambitions. He reflects on local government in Northern Ireland and how NILGA aims to bring the sector on a transformational journey in the coming years.
Global Local Executive Panel: Community engagement done well
Online | 9 Nov 2023 | 08:30–10:00 GMT | 18:30–20:00 AEDT
LGIU Members like you can attend for FREE
At LGIU, we bring our members high-level insights from councils across the world on how local government is dealing with key global issues.
Our Global Local Executive Panel Series brings together executive speakers from local government across the countries we work in and beyond to share solutions they’ve found to critical challenges faced worldwide. These sessions bring together senior executives from international councils to share ideas, compare approaches and explore learning opportunities.
LGIU and the Victorian Local Government Association (VLGA) are thrilled to gather together senior executives from Ireland, the UK and Australia to explore how to do community engagement well!
Key areas of exploration
• How to link up citizens’ assemblies and the public with the institutional structure of local government
• How to productively collaborate between local governments and the public
• Avoiding common pitfalls in community engagement
• Using the results of community engagement projects in a meaningful and impactful way
• Engaging rural communities where in-person connections are even more important
• Examining power and decision-making in community engagement
This session is part of our Global Local Executive Panel series. Explore more local solutions to global challenges – FREE for LGIU members.
Exclusive LGIU member resources
Our member-only resources are available to every employee and elected representative at our member organisations. Your council is a member. Sign up to the website – it’s your gateway to all member resources.
Ireland | An Bord Pleanála’s “Annus Horribilis”
Scotland | Autumn Bulletin 2023
Australia | A Working Future for all Australians
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This story made us smile
Limerick school celebrates 200 years of education
County Limerick's Ahane National School is celebrating 200 years of education with a week-long programme of events. Founded by Sir Richard Bourke in 1823, the school will kick off the celebration with the planting of an oak tree and a time capsule by Mayor of Limerick City and County Gerald Mitchell. The community celebration will feature memories, storytelling, and historical images, while an exhibition will highlight the life and legacy of Sir Richard.
This story comes from Ireland Daily News.
Daily News is an LGIU member-only service that keeps you connected to all the local government stories in the national and regional
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