The Mourne Identity – a visit to Northern Ireland – Irish Examiner

How Northern Ireland doesn’t have to be so northern.

“You’ll never know unless you go”. Does that classic line ring a wee bell? I was barely 10 years old when that iconic ad campaign from the Northern Ireland Tourist Board took to our TV screens back in 1992. 

Now, almost 30 years on (gulp!), Northern Ireland continues to reimagine and reinvent its tourism hand from its maritime pedigree with Titanic and being a Game of Thrones wonderland, and more recently, Derry Girls. But amid all its tourism wins, the region retains the enduring challenge when attracting visitors from the Republic. It still seems just ‘too far away’.

This week, I made the road-trip to the Mourne region of County Down — arguably the closest stepping stone in the North for visitors from the South. The gateway city of Newry, is in fact closer to Cork than Sligo; while the fishing

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