Tag Archives: tourism

Catching up with modern Ireland: May

I’ve been away most of the month working on long-term projects. Thanks for supporting our archived content. Here’s the monthly roundup. MH

  • U.S. President Donald Trump is scheduled to meet Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar on June 6 at Shannon Airport. Trump wanted the meeting at his Doonbeg golf resort in County Clare, where he will layover on his return from the U.K. earlier in the week. Varadkar wanted the meeting at Dromoland Castle Hotel, a neutral site that has hosted similar sessions with American leaders. Shannon was the compromise, Vox reports, citing the Washington Post. With Trump, of course, anything could happen. He scratched an announced November visit to Ireland.
  • Killarney National Park’s keystone oak woodlands are threatened by invasive rhododendron, The Irish Times warned. Earlier this year, wildfires damaged nearly 200 acres of heath and forest in or near the County Kerry park.
  • “Ireland has voted overwhelmingly to ease restrictions on divorce, taking another step toward liberalizing a Constitution that was once dominated by the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church,” The New York Times reported after the measure was overwhelmingly passed in a May 24 referendum.
  • Thousands marched in Belfast to support same-sex marriage in Northern Ireland, including the partner of slain journalist Lyra McKee.
  • In European Union and local elections, the Green Party made gains at the expense of Varadkar’s Fine Gael. So far, right-wing Euroskeptics have not reached the Irish ballot box. … A recount of 750,000 votes is underway for the MEP seat representing Ireland South will begin June 4 and could take the rest of the month, TheJournal.ie says.
  • An RTÉ story has detailed high turnover rates in the Irish Defense Forces.
  • Fáilte Ireland’s new €150 million “Platforms for Growth” initiative will “transform the tourism landscape across the country” CEO Paul Kelly said in a release. The first “platform” will focus on developing Immersive Heritage and Cultural Attractions that include more hands-on experiences to bring local culture and heritage to life.

The entrance of Trump’s Doonbeg golf course in County Clare during my July 2016 visit.

Blog celebrates first anniversary with 100th post; Gathering year at halfway mark

This is the 100th post of my Irish-American Blog, which also reaches its first anniversary this month. Thanks for the support.

For the occasion, here’s a link to Niall O’Dowd’s recent post on Irish Central, which celebrates the success of the Gathering 2013, a year-long tourism initiative encouraging people of Irish ancestry to return to the motherland. O’Dowd writes:

The weather has been cooperating with the warmest summer in some time which has really helped….There is always a match or a festival or some event to go to, and the people themselves seem energized by the foreigners who flock to their shore….It is as if Ireland has cast aside its penitent robes after the shock of the bad times and found a new suit that fits the upbeat mood perfectly….Sure there will be problems ahead, and winter’s dark days will draw in again, but the summer of 2013 will rightly be remembered as when The Gathering called countless Irish home.

Second quarter tourism numbers should be forthcoming from Fáilte Ireland later this month. Travel to Ireland was up 7.4 percent during the first quarter of 2013 compared to the previous year.

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