Visitors to Ireland, this page is for you : if you have browsed through my
many galleries of photos of Ireland,
you may imagine a country with plenty of unspoilt nature, great atmosphere, lovely sights and you may
conclude it's quite an idyllic place. But that's an appearance. The facts
are not so rosy. Below are a few of the many problems facing Ireland, and sadly, at the time of writing, not
much was being done.
RUBBISH ON THE STREETS
walk in town, whether you cycle in the countryside, or whether you
walk in a wood, you notice one common thing, present everywhere,
even in the most unexpected place : rubbish, litter (lucozade bottles,
crisp bags, tea cups, ... even washing machines). On often sees
drivers throwing an empty cup of coffee out of the car window. It
has become so bad that I recently read in the news that a british
company organising cycling trips around Europe has decided to take
Ireland off its list due to complains from cyclists about litter
in the irish countryside.
was taken at the start of the trail to the Mullinhassig waterfall,
near the car park. When I cycle around, I see the ditches and roadside
littered with empty cigarette packs, lucozade bottles, coca-cola
cans, paper, not just in one place, but everywhere, every meter,
for miles. Many irish people have no respect for the environment.
Is it a lack of common sense or a lack of education ? When mushroom
picking in a wood with friends, we even found a washing machine
: we could not help wonder how and why some people dragged it there
in he woods, rather than bring it to a refuse collection point.
not being allowed in pubs, they drink on the street and leave
behind bottles of beer. Many streets are littered with beer or
lucozade bottles, cans and paper. I asked a kid "what do
you think of this ?". He said "what ?". I said
"all this rubbish"... He shrugged and walked on. Sounds
to me like a lack of education : kids grow up with rubbish on
their door step so they don't care, and they'll continue throwing
scene after a rainy windy day in Cork :
It looks like the locals get pissed off when their umbrella tears
apart in the wind and they just dump the smashed-up remains on the
street. More rubbish ...
NO PROTECTION OF HERITAGE
country has a great heritage of medieval castles,
churches, holy wells, stone circles... but these are
rarely marked, and mostly unprotected from vandalism
1 : "Developement" of Puxley manor / Dunboy
is one of such examples : what used to be a magnificent
ruin near Castletownbere on Beara peninsula, set in
a park with public access, will now be an exclusive
5 star hotel, build by a foreign millionnaire. This
manor has a long history, including events related
to the irish independence, but instead of preserving
this ruin, it will be "restored" beyond
recognition. Obviously, it will be a very profitable
business for the hotel chain.
: the superb ruin of Puxley Manor (Dunboy Castle)
Below : work started in transforming this historical site
into a 5 star hotel
2 : access denied to the Old Head of Kinsale.
the golf club was set up, the owner was supposed to
allow public access along the cliff s but never did
so. The "Free
the Old Head of Kinsale Campaign" has been
organising events to restore the public's right but
to no avail so far.
area you see on this photo is off limit, but imagine
how superb must be a walk around the Old Head. I feel
anger everytime I am in front of the gate of the golf
club, who has unlawfully grabbed this piece of nature
by not allowing public right of way along the cliffs.
This exclusive club is one of the biggest shame of
Ireland, and the best illustration of how the money
of a few can prevail on the rights of many. See also
for more info.
3 : hidden old gate in Cork city
example is the case of an old gate, dated 1779 which
instead of being shown as part of historical Cork,
is shamefully hidden behind a building amongst rubbish
bins. I don't know exactly the history of this gate
but if anyone does, please let me know. It's located
in a corner of the car park at the back of Dunnes
Store near the Gates cinema.