Grim Outlook for Mayo Tourism?
The war in Iraq is dampening advance bookings for holidays in Mayo according to the Mayo News. Despite increased marketing, bookings have virtually collapsed. The North American market is now looking like a no show and the focus is on home visitors and Britain. The British tourists are taking a wait and see approach with poor bookings so far. The French and German markets are buoyant enough.
The item raises a few questions. Obviously the war is a big factor this year but there may be other considerations. Costs are significantly higher in Ireland than most other euro zone countries. The two great attractions – our friendly people and beautiful countryside towns and cities are not what they used to be. Our friendliness and hospitality are only a pale imitation of what they once were and in fact the welcome is much friendlier and more genuine in the USA than in many places here. Our countryside is being decimated by thoughtlessness and greed – we build houses right on the brow of the hill - on top of that beauty spot. Nasty, offensive signs warn people not to walk in the countryside or go on that beach. Razor wire is appearing even in Mayo – ever tried walking on Uggool? We string houses out along the roads such as from Castlebar to Westport non-stop. We are blighting the basis for tourism and contaminating the water beneath us and greening our lakes and rivers. Tourism is probably a bigger industry in Mayo than agriculture. We are killing the goose that laid the golden egg!
Much less war related items this week but an excellent piece from Liamy MacNally with a trenchant well-argued case against the war. He quotes the last letter to his mother from Diego Rincon, a US soldier killed by a suicide bomber in Iraq, to illustrate the reality of war deaths as opposed to the TV War that we turn off when we get bored. Turning his attention to the Bush-Blair-Bertie meeting he doesn’t mince words – ‘prostituting’ the NI Peace Process to legitimise the Iraqi war – and goes on to say - they were ‘overstepping the mark of decency’ in visiting the North this week. He asks how can Bertie ask for peaceful means in NI when the Government here has given the imprimatur to America to continue their invasion using Shannon? Instead of letting the Irish voice be heard above the din we "cowered lower than those whose voice is never heard". Well said Liamy.
Drink Drivers' Fate to be Determined Soon
Front page on the Mayo news outlines the situation of number of defendants defended by Aidan Crowley who are awaiting the final outcome from a Supreme Court decision on the intoxilyser system. The Supreme Court has ruled on the legality of detaining a prisoner for 20 minutes while waiting to undergo the test. A 20 minute observation period is an integral part of the intoxilyser test and while the Supreme Court has ruled that detention is unlawful it may be lawful in cases where the 20-minute detention can be justified. The Westport District Court adjourned the matter until May 1st for oral submissions. A Wicklow court may also rule on a number of cases on the basis of the Supreme Court clarification.
Whatever about the legal niceties it still doesn’t excuse people getting into cars and driving while intoxicated!