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Dublin City is Waiving all Library Fines

Dublin City has removed all Library Fines from 01 January 2019 and even if you have an outstanding debt, your slate will be wiped clean. The intention is to get more people to use the libraries, but the strategy seems very odd!

Loaning books is free and you only have to pay if you keep them longer than the loan period. Once that period has passed (and I think the period is pretty long 3 weeks!) then you had to pay 5 cent per day up to a maximum of EUR 3. Not super expensive, but a tool to ensure that the books are brought back in time.

How will the waiving of the fees get more people to use the library? Only if they were afraid to use the library because of the fees otherwise nothing will change for them. OR if they stopped using the library because they had a big bill waiting for them.

I VERY much doubt that anyone would not use the library because of a cost of 5 cent per day IF you are late (and by the way, in most cases you can extend the loan period for free over the phone). VERY unlikely that this fear really holds anyone back.

Dublin City Libraries do a great job, but this is a silly strategy that will not bring additional users to the libraries.

www.thejournal.ie/dublin-library-books-fines-4420229-Jan2019/

Failte Ireland lies to International Media!?

I love Dublin! I am living here for ages and for more than 11 years I wrote a online publication about cultural events in Dublin, but during that time I also have seen how the official groups responsible for tourism (especially in Dublin!) do less and less and expect more and more money to be dropped by tourists.

New Year’s Eve is not the most exciting day of the year in Dublin and if anyone asked me, I would strongly recommend that potential visitors stay far away between 24 December and 02/03 January. It is just sooo disappointing if you go to a city for these celebrated days and there is NOTHING happening.

In previous years some attempts were made to make Dublin a little more interesting at least over New Year with the New Year’s Festival Dublin. It consisted of some events on New Year’s eve (many years ago we even had fireworks!) and then more events and activities on New Year’s Day. But in 2018 all this changed again and it is the poorest and most disappointing events programme for the New Year’s Festival in at least 5, maybe 10 years!

There are just two light shows at Customs House. They are free, but needed tickets (which are all gone) and then there is a gig (not free!!) in the 3Arena. Apart from that there is not a single official event and NO events on New Year’s Day. Private Fireworks are forbidden in Ireland, nobody pays fro public Fireworks, so New Year’s Eve is a Non-Event!

That’s the facts!! But Failte Ireland is of the opinion that the facts shouldn’t get in the way of their “Fake news” marketing!

900 media representatives from 20 countries were invited to come to Ireland just before New Year’s and Failte Ireland is trying to convince them of something that is clearly untrue.

A RTE News article here says:

“The New Year’s Festival in Dublin is set to showcase tourism in the capital, and encourage more people to visit the capital and Ireland in 2019, according to tourism groups.”

“Liam Campbell from Fáilte Ireland’s International Publicity team said this year’s New Year’s Festival promises to be the most impressive end of year celebration Dublin has ever seen.”

What an amount of codswallop!

Do I think people should come to Dublin? Absolutely YES! It is a great place with lots of free and non free events during the year. This is mostly not thanks to Failte Ireland or Dublin City, but luckily we have lots of great people and businesses in Ireland that do a great job. But PLEASE tell people that they should avoid the Christmas and New Year’s period if they don’t want to be disappointed.

Irish Ferries Rosslare Decision – Mock Shock from TDs

Irish Ferries has announced today that they will probably end the Rosslare to France ferry service because the majority of their customers prefers to get to Dublin directly instead of to Rosslare. Makes a lot of sense to most people! Having a service to a location that is not the favourite location and having to provide infrastructure at that unliked location does not make ANY business sense.

First I thought they are just cancelling the service, but when you read the announcement you find out that instead a Cherbourg to Dublin service will be provided. Not sure if they will still go to Le Havre, though.

So not REALLY a big problem, BUT there is immediate outrage from some of our TDs. Brendan Howlin from Labour finds the decision inexplicable. He either didn’t read the Irish Ferries announcement or doesn’t understand business. OR and that is the actual reason for his “mock” outrage: He is a TD that represents an area close to Rosslare. And yes, he is the TD for Wexford. So he needs to be outraged to have a chance to be elected again.

And the other outraged person? It is Sinn Féin’s Brexit spokesperson David Cullinane and – what a surprise – he is from Waterford. He finds the decision “truly baffling”.

Oddly, both claim that the reason for their shock is the upcoming Brexit! :-O Can anybody explain that? Ferries are still going from France to Ireland, but to Dublin instead of Rosslare. How does Brexit come into that? …unless you are afraid of being accused of “navel gazing” (or being only interested in the topic because it could affect your personally) and therefore invent some “bigger” justification than just defending your own patch.

Less customers in Grafton Street due to LUAS

This is interesting! I had never thought of this or considered it, but after reading an article in the Irish Times about footfall in Grafton Street, I can see how it might make sense. Dublintown, the trader organisation for the City Centre, have identified that there was a drop in footfall by approx. 5.2% and they think the LUAS is the reason.

At first I thought: NONSENSE! The reduction in customer numbers if probably a general and global trend away from retail shops and towards online shopping. The prices retail shops charge are often to hideously high in comparison to online retailers that it really is difficult to keep shopping in the bricks & mortar shops.

But then I thought about how I would use the LUAS (if I could from where I live). If you come from the southern part of Dublin on the Green LUAS line and you work on the North side of the Liffey, then before the Cross City Luas was there, you would have left the LUAS at St. Stephen’s Green and then you would have had to walk from St. Stephen’s Green through Grafton Street to cross the Liffey to get to the Northside. Now, since the Cross City Luas is there, you change Luas trains at St. Stephen’s Green and then go across to the Northside in Luas, without ever putting a foot into Grafton Street.

Not much that can be done about it, but interesting how this new LUAS connection hurts businesses directly but very unintentionally. :-O

Something seriously wrong here! EU Leaders Salaries

During the week I found a list of EU Salaries that was posted on Facebook and if you look through that list you realise that something is SERIOUSLY wrong in Ireland!

Formatting of tables with lots of numbers doesn’t work so well here, but I hope you will see the blatant discrepancy between the salaries and the size of the countries. And I don’t care who is the head of our little country (or its government) and also is it irrelevant that some salary cuts have already been “endured” by the Taoiseach.

EU Leaders’ Gross Salary per year:

+ Slovakia —— Population: 5.4 mio ——–Leader’s salary: EUR 45.127
+ Portugal——-Population: 10.46 mio ——Leader’s salary: EUR 68,670
+ Hungary——-Population: 10 mio ———Leader’s salary: EUR 72,000
+ Spain———-Population: 46.77 mio——Leader’s salary: EUR 78,000
+ Greece———Population: 11.03 mio——Leader’s salary: EUR 85,479
+ Lithuania——Population: 10.46mio——-Leader’s salary: EUR 90,361
+ Italy———–Population: 58.83 mio——-Leader’s salary: EUR 115,000

+ IRELAND——Population: 4.7 mio———-Leader’s salary: EUR 185,000

Is that mad or what? The Taoiseach earns more than the leader of the government in Italy or Spain or all these other countries?

Note; I didn’t check all these numbers in detail and instead took it from a post that is signed with “unitedpeople.ie”. United People seems to be a new party in Ireland. I don’t know much about this party and in no way support or endorse it. A brief “Fact check” on a Wikipedia Page here did indicate that the numbers in general seem to be at least in the right region.

 
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