Category: Archive

Around Ireland Dogged burial in Donegal

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

By Patrick Markey

A Detroit man has taken his beloved pet dog "Donegal" to be laid to rest in Ardara, near the burial site of his Irish ancestors.

The Donegal Democrat newspaper reported that Stephen Breslin took the remains of his black Labrador to the land that she had never visited in the belief that the dog would have loved the Andara hills.

"When she died we decided straight away that we should cremate her and scatter her ashes in Donegal," Breslin said.

Luckily for Breslin, he managed to tie in the trip to Ireland with a Van Morrison concert in Dublin and a visit to Tipperary.

Breslin named the dog after the county his great grandfather left behind in 1872. The Breslins have named their dogs after parts of Ireland through the generations.

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Tourism troubles

Ireland, the land of a thousand welcomes. Maybe not. At least that’s the word from the nation’s top tourism organization.

According to the Irish Independent, the Bord Failte has warned Ireland’s booming tourism industry could run into serious trouble if the hype about friendly people and beautiful scenery fails to deliver.

With tourists asking "Where’s the Cead Mile Failte," tour operators fear a dramatic slump in business if problems, such as the litter crisis, are not quickly rectified.

But a new Bord Failte survey of travelers, still shows most tourists travel to Ireland mainly because of the people and the scenery.

Bord director John Dully declared: "If we don’t deliver we face a potentially serious problem. We have to dazzle people and give them the experience we promised. We don’t have an attitude problem yet, but complacency is setting in."

The main areas of dissatisfaction with tourists are car rentals, the weather, Ireland’s suitability for year-round holidays, litter and pollution.

And in Dublin …

Dubliners may have to brace themselves for 15 years of massive traffic disruption arising from the construction of new roads, bridges, tunnels and metro tracks around the capital.

The Sunday Business Post reported that the construction work is part of an £8 billion transport program. Government sources told the paper they believe planning and logistical difficulties could take 15 years to implement and they expect huge disruption.

According to official forecasts which have not been published, the number of peak-hour traffic trips in 2016 will be 500,000 — double the current level. This is based on predictions that the capital’s population will increase by more than 30 percent.

This has lead to warnings that unless an integrated transport network is developed, greater Dublin could become a no-go area for commuters and the city could decline as an economic center.

Kerry stardom

American screen legend Gregory Peck returned to Dingle in Kerry recently and after an evening spent with his relatives declared it was like coming home.

"This has been an emotional experience — not a sentimental one," the 84-year-old actor told a gathering of cousins at the Skellig Hotel, where he greeted well-wishers, signed autographs, posed for photographs for family albums and proudly introduced everybody to his year-old grandson, Parker.

"I expect that every Irish-American coming to Ireland says visiting makes them feel good to be here. But I feel drawn to Dingle, I feel a sense of coming home. For me that is what it is," he said, according to the Kerryman newspaper.

Peck’s grandmother, Catherine Ashe, came from Dingle. Peck also received an honorary doctorate in literature by the National University of Ireland in Dublin.

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