SO, here we are going into what is traditionally the busiest holiday weekend of the year and we have seen little enough in the way of balmy summer weather – the June weekend, unfortunately, having proved a false dawn of sorts. Thankfully, however, West Cork has seen a pretty decent influx of visitors, reflecting the national tourist number trends, and – hopefully – the August holiday period will be as busy as tourist service providers would like it to be.
The season is quite short in these parts, but Fáilte Ireland is working on a number of commendable initiatives with various stakeholders seeking to extend it. The Wild Atlantic Way is drawing more visitors to the western seaboard and West Cork is in a good position to benefit from their presence and to try to keep them here longer.
The area has plenty of natural assets in the form of scenery and the warmth of the welcome of its people. However, the condition of many of the roads leaves a lot to be desired, which is something that needs to be addressed by the relevant authorities.
Over the August bank holiday weekend, there will be a lot more people using our roads – many of them unfamiliar with them – so greater care needs to be exercised, especially given that the figure of 90 people killed on our roads up to the end of July of last year was surpassed this year by the third week of the month, so the trend in fatalities continues to be upwards despite the best efforts of the Gardaí and the Road Safety Authority to get people to take greater care.
As well as being more mindful of road safety, the Coast Guard, RNLI and Irish Water Safety has urged those engaged in recreational activities around water to exercise caution. There is an average of eleven drownings a month in Ireland, so ‘Respect the Water’ is the key message and Irish Water Safety advocates responsible parental supervision of children in or near water.
Have fun, but stay safe.