Watching news and current affairs programmes, you’d be forgiven for thinking Ireland was one gigantic theme park.
Interpretative centres, visitor attractions, information centres, museums and the like seem to be springing up everywhere.
There are few scenic areas left at this stage that don’t have some kind of carpark and centre attached so that you can enter and be told what you are supposed to be looking at. We even have an interpretive centre at the Cliffs of Moher. How the fuck do you interpret a cliff? It’s a cliff and that’s that. Nothing more to be said.
Of course the country is now awash with little information booths telling the unwary what took place there back in 1916. Every fucking village seems to have played a part somehow. And if nothing happened, then doubtless there will be a visitor centre telling us why nothing happened.
One of the latest to join the theme park craze is Youghal in East Cork. It’s a fine place and I have passed through it many times, but this isn’t enough for Youghal. They have to have their Visitor Attraction so they are cashing in on the film “Moby Dick” which was filmed there over sixty years ago! Sixty fucking years? That’s stretching fame a bit?
Films of course are the cause of many tourist traps here. Between people pouring in to visit Ballykissangel and Star Wars boat trips to The Skelligs, not to mention “The Quiet Man” you’d think the country was one gigantic film set.
While I cringe at some of the excuses for these traps, I have to admire the initiative. Why work when you can just fleece the tourists? Just sit at the door and get them to empty their wallets. Why bother farming when you can turn your farm into a “Farming Experience”? If you are clever enough you can even get them to do the farming for you [get immersed into the farming way of life].
Actually, I may be missing out on a trick here?
Guided tours of Head Rambles Manor?
Experience the life of a real Grandad?
See the chair where the famous website was actually written?
It’s got to be worth €50 a head?