We are good at many things in Ireland but we excel at playing up those ‘oirish’ characteristics that act as the good old reliable bait to capture the hearts and minds of the non-Irish. Yes, once we win them over, their hearts are in Ireland, it’s where they want to be…. cha ching cha ching! But there is something else we are really gifted at as a nation: CATFISHING.
‘Shush now, shur we can’t be braggin’ about that. I know the brief was to be transparent and inclusive but let’s face it, we wouldn’t be the most qualified at that. That doesn’t mean we bring in those… better qualified either! So, here’s the plan, we’ll discredit those folk into those big truths: you know those good-doers and the hippy types we were to include. They may be too smart for their own good, and if the truth be told, credible (said in a whisper), but we can’t give them a voice here. Didn’t the old profile get the Queen over and we’d be lost without the Obama Plaza. Their chicken roll is only to die for. God almighty, if they get their hands on it – there won’t be the Ireland of a thousand welcomes when there is no one to welcome. We can’t come out now as who we really are: we’ll be ruined. I just bought new mattresses for the bed and breakfast in Doolin. Besides the lie is a better bed to lie in. And isn’t that all that matters? The lovely green lie: a nation of big-hearted, kind, welcoming folk. We love our country, our people, and our . . . ahem, animals. Sure, we’ll add in a bit for them. Whatever you do, say nothing about all the legal and illegal puppy farms who breach some and in some cases ALL animal welfare regulations. What ever you do, don’t mention that young county councillor in Cavan who breeds dogs but keeps them in a cattle trailer in the sweltering heat crying out for help. Sure, if that image was put beside ‘Welcome to Cavan’ some would turn back-especially if they knew what Cavan County Council get up to when it comes to puppy farms. Sure Cavan is struggling as it is to get the tourists up there. Yes, best leave it all out, all the dogs suffering in every county in puppy farms. Truth isn’t attractive after all! Sure they’ll think they are seeing barns and sheds, and what they don’t know won’t hurt them. And if anyone looked in – sure they’d just see rows of boxes and a few pipes. And what about all the horses suffering in urban areas and in the countryside left on barren ground walking on those that went before them. You know the ones, we always get reports of? But, it’s true for ya, tourists never go into these areas! Of course it’s someone’s job to sort this out but that’s for another day. Could you imagine if those rescues got to write a line or two in our profile. There would be few swiping for us. We have big competition so we need to hold on tight to what people love about us! They wouldn’t stop at a few lines: they would take it over. Over 250 of them rescues in the country, and all on their knees trying to cope. Sure we can’t let our visitors know about them. We aren’t fully to blame for their existence after all: sure isn’t everyone buying puppies and dumping their poor auld dog in the pound. And then the puppy becomes a dog and hey presto, they don’t want him either anymore. People aren’t able to see their little darlings get a scratch or two anyway, and puppies can be one big source of disappointment. They all want the cockapoo or bichon these days! For God Sake’s- don’t write in anything about our predisposition to allergies. Every family has an allergy these days. Didn’t I read it in an article the other day about reasons people give up their family members: allergies. What ever you do, get rid of those protestors outside the greyhound stadium. You know the ones holding up the signs ‘drugs used here’ and the fact (said in a whisper) we kill thousands of greyhounds every year. It wasn’t even 6000 last year. If I’m correct it was 5999. Most tourists would be animal lovers. Christ, we would be ruined if those rescuers got to them. Their grant will keep them quiet, they know better. Hard to believe we get away with dividing 2 or 3 million between them all when we give Horse Racing Ireland over 76 million. And of course there was the 2 million top up to the greyhound industry. God they would go to town on us in our profile. Leave them out altogether. Sure they are used to broken promises. Tell them you had to have it in before they arrived.
I don’t give it much thought myself because we can’t be doing any of that over-thinking but you’d wonder all the same, what have we become? Back in the day like, you know, there was a general decency and most people wouldn’t want to see an animal hurt, and who would have bought a dog for hundreds when you’d get a decent dog from the pound or from someone down some road. And you’d never see the living daylights being beaten out of a horse as he races down a public road. And sure it’s not just the animals of course – That’s for another day. We have become rude and selfish really – now that I think about it. Not everyone of course but with this Covid thing, you begin to see others in a different light. It’s all about ‘me’ really and we know that’s a dangerous thing. What? Up-date it and people might appreciate honesty. Good luck! Are you mad? The old profile will do grand. We got away with it for this long now, no one would hardly believe the truth. It’s so horrible,. Throw in another rainbow and shamrock in though. They love that auld shite! Come here, will you look into, can we use the wording Love Island too? Sure half the population is a cut of those young ones on that show. We might as well benefit from it.
Before you go, set up an auld photo-call with a puppy or something. One of those rescue ones for the launch! A bit of click bait!