Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Looking Forward
I know at times like this it can be difficult to look forward and not start engaging in 'who's to blame' politics - I have done it myself (see some earlier blogs!!). But I think it is very important, now more than ever, to focus on the positive.
We live is a great country with mostly fantastic, generous, friendly people. We are open, courteous, happy (ask any EU survey) and proud of who we are and where we have come from.
We have De La Salle in the All Ireland Club Championships Final on St Patricks Day! What an acheivement! We have the rugby team on a roll with a mouth-watering game in prospect against England in Croker on Sunday. The Irish Football Team is even doing well. A guy living in the County has produced the winning Irish Entry for the Eurovision. The teams in WIT are bringing home cups all around them in everything from Karate to Camogie.
And on the economic front, while there will continue to be tough times we have to be in a better position to deal with them than ever before. And all is not lost. Penneys have started their €8m re-development in the heart of the city centre, KRM from what we hear are beavering away getting all their pre-development boxes ticked and, lets face it, many retailers want desperately to come to Waterford.
Looking forward we have the Skyfest Fireworks display on the Saturday before St. Patricks weekend and then the clash of the parade/De La Salle match on the Saints day itself. (Personally I think we should bring the parade forward to Sunday - encouraging the vistors who come for Skyfest to stay, and then put a big screen on the Quay for the match with bands and entertainment and - weather permitting - an outdoor bar/cafe at the Tower Hotel a la the Tallships festival in 2005.
And speaking of the Tallships, don't forget it is returning in just two summers time in 2011. Now that really is something to look forward to. Remember what a lift that gave us as a community when it was here? There is no reason why we cannot go on to achieve all we thought was possible in those (now halcyon) days. In fact, the impetus is there now more than ever.
So lets do what we can do, protect what we can protect but not forget that we are and will continue to be a CAN DO community who can DELIVER long after these hard times are gone. In the meantime, our innate optimism and innovation should help us to keep ourselves going and pull ourselves up - by our proverbial bootstraps, if necessary.
So if you ever wanted to take a chance - see now as your opportunity. After all - what have we got to lose anymore? I firmly believe that the only way for Waterford - as the song says, is UP.
Photo shows Mary in sunny St Malo in Brittany at the Tallships Festival in 2006. Vive la difference!

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