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NEWS ASSORTMENT


Some interesting news out of Ireland -- some good -- and some NOT so much. confuse confuse

First, the GOOD:

For those whom the airlines seem determined to force to begin their driving from Dublin, comes the opening of the FINAL stretch of the M8 Bypass scheme.  It is predicted to reduce driving time to UNDER three hours- Dublin to Cork.  The FINAL stretch of the Dublin to Limmerick M7 is on schedule to open by years end, as well :

http://www.funkymotors.ie/blog/2010/05/28/final-section-of-dublin-to-cork-motorway-opens/


http://m.irishtimes.com/newspaper/breaking/2010/0528/breaking15.html?via=news

Now, for the NOT So Good: furious furious furious

As you probably know, Irish roads are, um, DIFFERENT than in Canada and the US, and Car Hire (Rentals) pose many Unique Challanges, for the visitor. evileye  furious evileye

Tire, undercarraige and wheels are NOT covered by insurance - whether you use the
company's CDW and 'Excess', or your Credit Card.  (SOME Rental Companies HAVE begun to offer, 'EXTRA-Excess' that DOES -- for an EXTRA, Extra Fee! evileye
The Traditional Explaination / Excuse / Argument for EXCLUDING tires, etc, was that tourists kept banging into curbs and such due to their unfamiliarity with the roads.

  Hah! disbelief disbelief disbelief disbelief

The TRUTH is, that Irish ROADS cause MOST of the afore-mentioned damage -- and they do NOT only afflict the poor, inexperienced Tourist!   hmm hmm  Potholes damaging tires, wheels and undercarraiges is common place in Ireland. 

Just HOW much???

"AN AA ROADWATCH report earlier this week said 85 per cent of road users interviewed had reported hitting a pothole in 2010. For almost 32 per cent of motorists, this experience necessitated a garage repair to the car or a call-out by the AA."  -- Irish Times


Sites detailing the EXTENT of the problem:

http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/features/2010/0514/1224270355334.html

http://www.irishsilicon.com/2008/12/irish-recession-irish-pot-hole.html

Data base of reported pothole locations:  http://www.potholes.ie/

Having lost THREE tires to Potholes over the past four years, I'm not terribly suprised!

hmm   hmm   hmm   hmm

Bob

-- Edited by Itallian Chauffeur on Sunday 30th of May 2010 01:59:03 PM

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Thanks Bob. Yes, the old "blame the tourist" theme at the car rental companies is getting tired. I remember a road in Ireland years ago that was paved so horrendously that it actually sent your car where it wanted. You could steer left, right or in a circle and it took you on a real roller coaster ride.

Michele

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Speaking of Tourists ...

Looks like there will be a LOT more of the IRISH variety, this summer:

http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/breaking/2010/0604/breaking45.html


Also, MORE Highway News:

http://www.breakingnews.ie/ireland/new-m3-motorway-lanes-opened-460432.html

And an ALTERNATE opinion, of same:

http://www.breakingnews.ie/ireland/toibin-joins-m3-condemnation-460402.html

Bob

-- Edited by Itallian Chauffeur on Friday 4th of June 2010 10:37:39 AM

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Bob,

We appreciate the additional links. It is good that more Irish are staying home for holidays rather than jetting off to somewhere else. It may make up for the defecit in other tourist areas.

Yes, the M3 is a case of 21st century taking precidence over 3,000 BC. Too bad they couldn't have compromised.

Michele

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BOO!!!   HISSS!!!!   furious  furious  furious :

http://www.breakingnews.ie/business/aer-lingus-to-reduce-transatlantic-shannon-services-461785.html


Bob



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Thanks Bob. I read that too. For the past few years Aer Lingus has cut the service from NY & Boston to Shannon in the off-season and redirects their planes to the more lucrative Disney market in Florida. I guess that for them it makes sense for the bottom line. After all the Irish want their own getaways in the long, damp cold winters.

Michele

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Unfortunately, all those Orlando flights head to DUBLIN!!!!furious

I'm riding that route, next month, but only to connect onwards, to Cardiff.  My eventual return is from SNN, though THAT means I've got to endure the dreaded, JFK lay-over ... hmm hmm

Bob



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Bob,

I feel your pain. I am stuck in the same loop. Dublin, Dublin, Dublin. Wish it were ALWAYS Shannon. What a user-friendly airport. But to airlines who cater to business travelers Dublin will always reign supreme.

Michele

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Waterford Crystal reopens! -- Sorta ... hmm hmm:

http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/breaking/2010/0622/breaking8.html


Irish Road Safety rated #7 out of the 27 EU Member-States. 

http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/breaking/2010/0622/breaking29.html


Which just 'Shows-To-Go-Ya' that bad roads do NOT necessisarily translate into accidents -- if you Slow Down and Enjoy the Views!!!  biggrin biggrin biggrin

And, on a DIFFERENT note, I suppose this is GOOD news, that getting around in Dublin is being improved, since the airlines seem DETERMINED to make us all go there????  furious furious furious :

http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/breaking/2010/0622/breaking21.html

Bob



-- Edited by Itallian Chauffeur on Tuesday 22nd of June 2010 11:16:31 AM

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Bob, 

Thanks! I've been watching the Waterford Crystal saga play out over the past year. They have reopened as The House of Waterford. Besides the link provided here is the direct link to their website: http://www.waterfordvisitorcentre.com/Home 

Michele

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Thanks to Corey for pointing out how SIGNIFICANT this is:

http://www.tourismirelandinfo.com/newsroom/display.php?id=189


But, I have to admit that MY favourite Irish web site:  www.millstreet.ie actually posted a link about 24 hours earlier   aww    that led me to discover previously unknown (and QUITE surprising) data about my wife's family!   confuse confuse confuse

http://www.census.nationalarchives.ie/search/   The 1901 and 1911 Census data -- digitized and SEARCHABLE!!!! biggrin  biggrin  biggrin

For anyone interested in late 188-early 1900 genealogy, this is a TREASURE CHEST!

Bob

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Thanks Bob,

I have been waiting for that census information. My grandmother was born in Leitrim and came to the US in 1906 with her parents after selling their farm in 1900. For the longest time, I didn't know where they were between 1900-1906. Thanks to you, I was able to find where they were in 1901. happy.gif

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Just how great is stuff like this?  I really enjoying seeing people share this type of information on the site.  I get excited about it even when it doesn't directly involve me!

Really good exchange of information on a daily basis here.

Thanks to all!

Monty

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Thanks Bob. Great info! 

Michele

-- Edited by Michele Erdvig on Friday 25th of June 2010 04:50:20 PM

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Does the Tourism Minister even have a CLUE????

http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/breaking/2010/0827/breaking26.html

Also:

Aer Arran Bankrupt???


Bob


-- Edited by Itallian Chauffeur on Friday 27th of August 2010 08:16:08 AM

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Bob,

They don't have a clue. Never did. Never will. You are talking about a government agency. If they were on the Titanic they would be re-arranging the deck chairs.

Here are a few more:

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Helena Healy, chief executive of B&B Ireland  said “We’ve had a lot of B&Bs saying they have had a very good year, as good if not better than last year, but there are a lot of BBs telling us that they had a worse year than last year.”   confuse Oooookay. If you say so. But what did you say? Maybe if you say it a few more times we might believe it. Or maybe we might be even more confused. Whatever.

http://www.irishtimes.com:80/newspaper/travel/2010/0828/1224277752381.html

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Byrne told us that he personally reads all letters of complaints from tourists who write into Tourism Ireland. "I have not received one piece of bad news in the last two years."   Ummm...since when are complaint letters good news? Aren't complaints always bad? You want happy customers - right? If they have complaints they are not happy and that is bad.   La, la, la, la, la.....

http://www.travelagentcentral.com/ireland/whats-store-tourism-ireland-23336


----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

My conclusion is the same as Dickens':

"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times; it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness; it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity; it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness; it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair; we had everything before us, we had nothing before us; we were all going directly to Heaven, we were all going the other way." 

Tourism Ireland are experts at skewing the pie charts, cooking the books, juggling the numbers.     Everything is rosy. And don't forget it cause we at TI keep telling you over and over again. If we say it often enough someone will believe it.

Michele

P.S. Some of these links are courtesy of Corey at www.IrishFireside.com He isn't falling for the Blarney either.



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Here's more breaking news for you. 

http://www.irishtimes.com:80/newspaper/ireland/2010/0828/1224277777505.html

Seems Shannon Airport can't win for losing.

Michele

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On reading that article I felt he was talking in circles and sort of saying "it was white except that it was black and it was black except that it was white and in the end it was green.... maybe." [laugh]

Walt

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We bought our tickets to fly from Boston into Shannon back in April. Two people in my group have different airlines than the rest of us. So Delta, they'll fly us directly into Shannon. The two people that are flying on American Airlines are going to have to go through London and then were supposed to take Aer Lingus to Shannon. HOWEVER, AL cancelled their flights from London and the returning flights out of Ireland. When I contact Orbitz to see what could be done to get this fixed they had to contact AL and theywhen they got back to me Orbitz told me that there is some kind of strike going on within the Aer Lingus company. They were not scheduling anymore flights from Shannon to Dublin/London/US between now (which was July) and October when we go.
So, not really sure what's going on there, but it seems a shame.

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Walt,

Whatever the spin Ireland is always green!

Mandy,

Aer Lingus doesn't have the same kind of strikes you see in the USA where it can close down the airline. Instead they have "industrial actions" where they will shut them down for a day or two to get their attention. A lot of airlines have pulled out of Shannon. It seems that most traffic is being directed into Dublin. Once the war is over and there are no more American troops flying through Shannon it will be a ghost airport. Or maybe a zombie airport.

Michele

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I have to say, some of the quotes I'm reading out of Ireland are very confusing.

I think one of the problems is that there are a lot of spokespeople operating on a pre-internet public relations model where they look for the key positive talking points and then say them again and again in hopes they will be picked up verbatim. In the old model, reporters would do their homework and ask for clarification before publishing.

Today, newspaper budgets are thin, editors and reporters are disappearing, and the internet is becoming the main source of news. Most internet readers know to be leery of info on the web, so they look for authenticity and look to multiple sources.

Sadly, when a source "spins" every message into key talking points, it just doesn't play well with today's audience.

Fortunately, tourism numbers or seemingly misguided comments from officials, don't affect the passion and excellent information provided in this forum. Keep up the good work, everyone!

Oh, I feel like I should throw in the fact that there is a slight chance that some of the people in the articles listed might have been misquoted or their quotes taken out of context. I've been a victim of that, and it sucks. That said, that would be a lot of misquoting.

On a related note, I wrote my own Letter to the Editor regarding a specific tourism issue. It was picked up by the ClareHerald.com... not sure any other papers will do the same. Read it at http://irishfireside.com/2010/08/27/where-are-all-the-irish/ .


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Maith Thu, a chara!

Very succinct and well written. It stands to reason that Clare would run it and others would not. After all, you shine a good light on Clare Tourism efforts. Not so most of the rest.

It really is grating to hear the "rip-off Ireland" phrase. Especially from a "higher" official. Said official was taken aback when I said "Not all of Ireland is set to rip-off the Tourists. Only those who are involved in the car rental industry and those whose pockets are being lined by their acts of bait 'n switch"

We must keep chipping away at them, Corey. It is the only thing we can do.

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Corey,

Well done letter to the editor. I enjoyed reading it. You make a good point that Tourism Ireland may be stuck in the 20th century concerning how they handle publicity. With their budget I think they should "get with it" and enter the 21st century and the Internet Age. If I can do it, anyone can! And I have hardly any budget at all.

Michele

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I've gotten a few notes from people in the tourism industry in Clare. They appreciate the confirmation that their efforts might pay off. They don't seem to be getting much support back home, but part of it seems to be local backlash from the new charges at the Cliffs of Moher.

Tourism Ireland isn't the only group faced with the challenge of negotiating how they handle "traditional" media with "new" media. It's accross every industry.

I will say, Tourism Ireland does a good job of sending a consistent message... even if I don't always agree with that message... or if I tire of it.

Travis and Kathy at the Engaging Ireland Podcast did an interview with Marie McKown from Tourism Ireland. In Marie's first comments she nails several of Tourism Ireland's talking points... it's almost eerie how quickly they get dinged.

As someone who conducts these types of interviews, I can say those aren't my favorite type. It takes an interviewer with more skill than me to shift the conversation to something more personal, specific or something for which they have passion.

Have a listen and see how long it takes before you can mark these talking points off the list... http://engagingireland.com/blog/2010/08/30/ep-21-tourism-ireland-interview/
  • a slowdown in tourism
  • renewed interest
  • on the turn/rounding the corner
  • product in Ireland
  • great value to be had
  • never been a better time


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Confirming what we already KNEW ---  The Irish people really ARE unique!   biggrin  biggrin  biggrin

DNA Evidence Irish Genome


Also  -- M9 now complete:  http://www.breakingnews.ie/ireland/final-link-in-m9-motorway-opens-472876.html

Bob 

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Was listening to Clare FM on my Droid this afternoon and heard that Irish hotel rooms were the cheapest in Ireland.  Found this link to an article at the Independent.  http://www.independent.ie/national-news/irish-hotel-prices-among-the-cheapest-in-europe-2335995.html confirming what I thought I had heard.  Seems like a good time to go.  Lodging prices in Ireland are cheaper than those here in New England.

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Did anyone else read this article about the lack of roadside service stations on the new road from Dublin to Cork?

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20100914/od_nm/us_ireland_motorways

I would think that this would be good for the towns along the way.

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There are no service stations on any of Ireland's new motorways and they have had a detrimental effect on many towns deprived of passing trade.

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Did I hear that service plazas were opening up this fall on the M1?  Thought I may have heard this on the Clare FM news.

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Rich,

You heard right. The one at Lusk is now open. Rather close to Dublin so it doesn't really make sense to have one there. But who knows how the Irish government thinks. Others will be opening up soon.

Michele

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