Monday, June 8, 2009

Vovlo Ocean Yacht Race Versus Tallships

It was impossible while over at the ship last Friday not to worry somewhat about the state of the North Quays (see above). With the Tallships 2011 Festival just 2 years away and no sign of any development happening there in the short, medium or long term - and its' continuing deterioration - including the quay wall where ships berth, I wonder how much it will cost to remediate this area to make it safe for ships and the public for this event? It is an awful shame that the North Quays were unable to proceed when cash was flowing. No use crying over spilled milk I suppose.

That leads me onto the visit of the Volvo Ocean Yacht race to Galway for the past two weeks - which, while a great event cannot compare in spectacle to the Tallships. Galway, it is reported saw an influx of 4-500,000 visitors over the two weeks and received €8m (yes, eight million euro) from the Government towards the hosting of this event.

Now the Tallships in 2005 in Waterford brought that many visitors to our city in just 3 days and the Government investment was much, much, MUCH less! As was the media coverage - with some notable exceptions.

I know it seems mealy minded but am I wrong is suspecting that Waterford is not getting a fair crack at the whip either financially or in terms of media coverage from our wonderful festivals and events? Will there be such a hoo-ha when the Tallships return here in 2011?

And if not, why not? Could it be because there simply aren't enough Waterford 'ambassadors' in the civil service and media institutions? Could this be because a journalism degree is not available in the South East? Could it be because we have traditionally had such a strong manufacturing offering that our best and brightest stayed here and worked rather than went to 3rd level and from there into the Civil Service in Dublin or into the national media?

Whatever it is, there can be no doubt but that there is a plethora of Galway people in both areas and a lack of Waterford people.

Of course, there is no doubt but that a University in Galway makes a huge difference as well. Another reason (as if we needed one) to continue the fight amidst increasing diffidence from the current Government, for the designation of WIT as a University.

Ah yes! It's good to be back. The fight goes on......

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