THE CEO of Irish tourism company Fáilte Ireland has come under fire for claiming that Dublin is in "desperate need" of more hotels.
Chief Executive Paul Kelly was speaking at the Developing Tourism 2020 conference in Croke Park yesterday, Monday 11th November, when he made the controversial comments.
While Mr Kelly claimed the capital city was in dire need of more hotels in order to keep up with the demand for tourism, many took to social media to point out that if things kept going the way they were, tourists would come to Dublin and and be greeted by nothing but hotels.
they won’t be happy until Dublin is one giant hotel https://t.co/UWV2wB7ACg
— Gary Doyle (@thegarydoyle) November 12, 2019
The backlash comes at a time where Dublin City Council have been criticised for the "cultural strip-mining" of Dublin, such as by ordering the removals of popular murals such as Horseboy and David Attenborough.
Popular and culturally important small businesses such as the Bernard Shaw and Eatyard were forced to close earlier this year when they were told their premises were being turned into a hotel.
Just last week, a mural depicting Derry Girls character Sister Michael appeared nearby the former Bernard Shaw, with a speech-bubble next to the character exclaiming "Another hotel? Christ".
People in Dublin and beyond were quick to voice their annoyance at Mr Kelly's original comments.
I hate to admit this but I’ve really never felt so let down by my own country - 10,000 homeless in Dublin alone & the government are knocking down social/cultural hubs to build hotels for tourists to come make the rich richer, James Connolly would be turning in his grave😤
— rosieeeee (@rosannaobrienx) November 11, 2019
Counter point: Every hotel is a lost opportunity for an apartment block, public housing or a cultural amenity that both locals and tourists could use.
— Micheál (@Nameless_Weevil) November 11, 2019
Why are tourists more important than the people who live there? What are all these tourists going to do and experience as the cultural heart is being ripped out of the city? Go to a Wetherspoons?
— Margarita Corscadden (@margaritacors) November 11, 2019
Worst thing about Dublin is the gaps between hotels. I propose filling them with hotels. Same with the buildings between the hotels. Those should be hotels. The hostels should be hotels and the parks should be hotels. The galleries and schools should also be hotels. Pubs? Hotels
— AstonishingSod (@AstonishingSod) August 5, 2019
Mr Tayto doesn't have a facial expression for the response to this nonsense. A hand gesture perhaps.
— Steve (@moneenlux) November 11, 2019
A Spokesperson for Fáilte Ireland stood by the comments made by Mr Kelly.
In a statement to JOE.ie, a spokesperson for the company said the comments were made "in the context of Ireland losing out on, and not being able to compete for, significant international business events and conferences because of the lack available hotel space."