SOUTH WICKLOW IS WIPED OFF THE MAP
A Failte Ireland road map hit a major bump in the road after it was found to cut off the south of the county.
The map, which was issued last year and is available from tourist offices around the county, does not include large tracts of the south and south-west, and has led to fears about the impact it will have on tourism in Arklow, Carnew, Coolkenna, Tinahely, Shillelagh and surrounding villages.
Manager of Tinahely Courthouse Arts Centre Maggie Gallagher said the centre already struggles to get its name out there and incidents like this do not help their case.
‘It is shocking and appalling that someone would just go and cut out the south of Wicklow. It is something the arts centre does not need,’ said Ms Gallagher.
Gerry O’Brien, who organises dances regularly in Parkview House in Shillelagh, was also not impressed by it.
‘ This will definitely have an effect on our tourism trade. I know people use Google Maps, but there is a few who still use road maps. How will they know where Shillelagh is? We are trying our best to turn our dances into one of the top places for a great night out,’ he said.
Cathaoirleach of Arklow Municipal District Cllr Tommy Annesley said the situation was ‘not acceptable’.
‘I do not want to give a negative response with something to do with Wicklow tourism, but how could anyone make a mistake like that? These people are being paid to do a job and it should be done right,’ said Cllr Annesley.
The Wicklow road map has not gone unnoticed in the local area and Cllr Pat Fitzgerald has received a few complaints from people in Arklow and beyond.
‘It is a total lack of respect to the south of Wicklow,’ said Cllr Fitzgerald. ‘A few people have come up to me to say how disgusted they are by it. It is a huge error and it needs to be fixed, because south Wicklow is alive and well.’
Frederic Verdier from Wicklow County Tourism was keen to emphasise that the publication had nothing to do with the Garden County group.
‘It is regrettable and a dreadful mistake,’ said Mr Verdier. ‘In the future we welcome Failte Ireland, and whoever else, to get in touch with us before they publish anything like this again.’
A spokesperson from Fáilte Ireland said the road maps in particular are not designed to be used as county maps, but rather to map out the attractions and experiences available in the locality surrounding the Wicklow tourist office. They said a review of all local maps is planned to take place in the coming months.
On a broader note, Fáilte Ireland did wish to point out that tourism in county Wicklow is doing very well at the moment.
The Failte Ireland map which cuts Co Wicklow off just north of Arklow.