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Carmarthenshire

£1.5million for Celtic Routes tourism project linking West Wales and Ireland

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Carmarthenshire County Council has secured an additional £1.5 million for a second phase of the Celtic Routes tourism project.

The successful bid was made on behalf of the Celtic Routes partnership to the Welsh European Funding Office (WEFO) which will take the project through to 2023.

Celtic Routes is a partnership project between Ceredigion and Carmarthenshire County Councils and the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority in Wales and Wicklow, Wexford and Waterford County Councils in Ireland.

It’s a branded collection of tourism experiences encouraging travellers to visit Ireland and Wales to discover the Celtic spirit by suggesting immersive and authentic experiences in West Wales and South East Ireland.

The contract is partly funded via the European Regional Development Fund through the Ireland Wales Cooperation programme 2014-2020.

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Cllr Peter Hughes, Carmarthenshire County Council’s Executive Board Member for Culture, Sport and Tourism, said: “The Celtic Routes project aims to persuade visitors driving through each of the partner destinations who are en-route to more established destinations to stop and spend time exploring each area and visit time and time again. An exciting programme is planned which will enable existing and new Celtic Routes networks to develop and build on success so far and to work together to mitigate the effect of Covid-19.”

Phase 2 will focus on developing the legacy of Celtic Routes by further enhancing the visitor experience working closely with the tourism sector.

Already businesses from Wales have been visiting Ireland to learn and share best practice with their Irish counterparts.

Carmarthenshire County Council Leader, Cllr Emlyn Dole said: “The Phase 2 proposal will build on the strong foundations that have been developed to date and provide an opportunity for the initiative to fully deliver to its potential.”

A toolkit is available for businesses and destinations with guidance and ideas about how they can create their own Celtic experiences and contribute to the success of the project.

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Lord Dafydd Elis-Thomas MS, Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism said: “We’re as keen as ever to promote and foster Welsh links with Ireland; we have many similarities in terms of our traditions, culture and economies. Now the UK has left the EU this form of co-operation is even more important and part of our ambitions within the Ireland Wales Shared Statement and Joint Action Plan. We want to continue to collaborate and work in partnership to ensure that we grow and prosper with the wealth of opportunities that the Wales-Ireland relationship has to offer.”

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Michael McGrath, TD said: “I want to congratulate the Celtic Routes project for its success in securing additional funding under the Ireland Wales Cooperation Programme 2014-2020. As the tourism industry seeks to recover from the impact of COVID-19, the extension of this project, which promotes ongoing cooperation between West Wales and the sunny South East of Ireland, reminds us of the wealth of natural beauty, heritage and tourist amenities that are so important in contributing to regional development in both economies.”

For more information visit www.celticroutes.info

Lead image: Cefn Sidan Beach (Image: Carmarthenshire Council)


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Ammanford

Man who filmed rape on Ammanford victim’s phone changes plea mid trial

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A man who filmed himself raping an Ammanford woman on his victim’s phone has changed his plea to guilty midway through his trial.

Cameron Hassan, aged 31, of no fixed abode, attacked the woman, raping her as she slept on 21 August 2021.

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Hassan had been on trial at Swansea Crown Court after denying any wrongdoing. However, after the jury was shown the video of the attack and hearing the victim was going to give evidence yesterday (Tuesday, 10 May), Hassan changed his plea to guilty.

Investigating Officer DC Sophie Lambert from Dyfed Powys Police said the victim had shown great strength and determination throughout the investigation.

“I must commend her tremendous courage in coming forward and the tenacity shown throughout the investigation,” she said.

“We hope this case demonstrates that Dyfed-Powys Police acts on serious allegations such as rape and sexual assault with officers working tirelessly to secure justice for victims.

“If you are suffering because of similar abuse, please contact the police, or if you would rather speak to someone in confidence, New Pathways are an independent charity that will support you through every step of the investigation.”

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New Pathways can be contacted at 01685 379 310 or email enquiries@newpathways.org.uk

(Lead image: Google Maps)

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Carmarthenshire

Women’s Tour of Britain returns to Carmarthenshire

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The countdown is on before the world’s top women riders will race through Carmarthenshire as part of the Women’s Tour of Britain.

Some 108 cyclists will race through the County to the finishing line on top of the Black Mountain between Llangadog and Brynamman as part of the stage five event on Friday, June 10.

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The route will be starting from Pembrey Country Park at 10.45am and riders competing for the title will go through Pinged, Carway, Pontyberem, Horeb, Llansawel, and Llangadog.

A rolling road closure will take place along the 65-mile route which will come into action at 10.45am until 1.50pm.

Roads will be re-opened once the cyclists have passed through. A full road closure will be in place over the Black Mountain from 5am-5pm.

The event will be broadcast on ITV4 and across Europe with a helicopter camera crew following the race.

The Women’s Tour departs on Monday, June 6, and coincides with the final day of a four-day Bank Holiday weekend in the UK to celebrate Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee. The race will culminate with a prestigious finale six days later on Saturday, June 11.

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Pembrey Country Park previously hosted the Grand Départ of the men’s Tour of Britain as well as the overall finish of the Women’s Tour in 2019.

Carmarthenshire County Council’s Chief Executive, Wendy Walters said: “We are thrilled that we have again been chosen to host this top cycling event. Previous years have brought an immediate economic boost to the tourism sector as well as providing a great deal of positive media coverage.”

(Lead image: Carmarthenshire Council)

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Dyfed Powys Police

Man banned from driving for 12 months for fishing offence

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A man from Merthyr Tydfil who travelled to the River Loughor, near Llanelli to fish using a barbaric and illegal method, has been banned from driving for 12 months as part of his sentence.

Vu Quang Tien pleaded guilty to an illegal fishing charge and also to a charge of obstruction of a Natural Resources Wales (NRW) Fisheries Enforcement Officer on 26 April at Swansea Magistrates Court.

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Mr Tien and two other anglers were witnessed by NRW Fisheries Enforcement Officers deliberately using the illegal foul hooking method of fishing – also known as snatching – at the river Loughor on 15 August 2021. NRW officers attended the site after several reports of illegal fishing were made to NRW’s 24/7 incident call centre by concerned members of the community.

When approached and questioned by NRW officers, Mr Tien and his accomplices showed significant hostility and reluctance to share identification documents which eventually had to be extracted by use of reasonable force.

All of Mr Tien’s fishing tackle and fish, along with his associates’ fishing tackle was seized by NRW Officers at the time of the incident. The district judge on the day at Swansea Magistrates Court gave permission to NRW to confiscate these items permanently from each of them.

The District Judge disqualified Mr Tien from driving for 12 months due to seriousness of the incident, and the premeditated and deliberate action of travelling such a distance to commit the offence.

He was also ordered to pay a total of £2,334 in fines, NRW costs and a victim surcharge.

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Mark Thomas, Fisheries Enforcement Officer for NRW, said: “We would like to again thank Dyfed Powys Police, the local communities and also the law-abiding anglers in the area for their continued support in reporting these illegal fishing activities.

“Foul hooking is a truly barbaric form of fishing carried out by a small minority of anglers in Wales, who have no regard for fish welfare.

“NRW and the Police take these incidents seriously as do the courts.

“Hopefully, the small minority of anglers who may in future, think of using any illegal fishing methods will take heed of the heavy fines and driving ban in this case issued by the courts.”

(Lead image: Natural Resources Wales)

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