Travel Extra’s Sunday Supplement June 29 2014: Airheads Baffled by the French & You’ll Never Please the Irish



Picture: Eoghan Corry tests the water on a press trip to Emilia Romagna


*Airheads puzzled by French strike

*End in sight for Aer Lingus dispute?

*Ireland can’t take a compliment

*Executives jet in for CANSO summit


Video of the week

Our video of the week shows a whale watcher’s incredible reaction to a pod of around 20 whales surfacing the water. “Holy moly,” she utters before erupting into an excited scream. This is sure to bring a smile to your face.

  • This video shows newsreel footage of one of the first in-flight movies. The footage dates back to 1925 and shows a screening of ‘The Lost World’ during an Imperial Airways flight from London to Paris.
  • Virgin America posted a time-lapse video of technicians installing its in-flight WiFi service on an A320 aircraft. Watch the footage here.
  • CityJet posted a video of its staff dancing awkwardly to a mimed version of Pharrell William’s hit song ‘Happy’. Take a look here.
  • Air Serbia uploaded a time-lapse video of a team repainting its aircraft in Lelystad airport. Each machine spends an average seven days in the workshop.
  • posted a video centred on Irish surfer Aaron Reid, who was under 18s Irish champion in 2009 and 2010. Conor Maguire, another Irish surfer also features.
  • Actor Paul Rudd talks about his bachelor party in Ireland. Watch the clip here.



eoghan morning ireland

Europe’s aviators (airheads) were left perplexed by the French Air Traffic Controlstrike on Tuesday and Wednesday: how did it happen and get out of hand so quickly? The strike, over plans to merge the Orly and Roissy ATC sites in 2011 with a view to merging all three centres on the Athis-Mons site by 2017, led to 50pc of flights from Orly airport being cancelled with many others suffering delays of up to five hours before being called off on Wednesday when William Fiacre’s UNSA union decided the French government “had acknowledged the importance of expenditure in the sector. UNSA represents 21pc of French Air Trafiic Controllers.  CDG was largely unaffected. Originally another union backed the strike before changing its mind, Roger Rousseau‘s SNCTA, which has 41pc of controllers in its membership while Gauthier Sturtzer’s USAC-CGT, which represents 22pc of controllers, made supportive noises but did not join the strike. USAC-CGT describes the planned changes as a ‘violation of national sovereignty’ and a ‘direct attack on the public service nature of this sector’. This is the fourth French ATC strike this year, as much against the single European sky proposal as the minor budget cuts that caused this week spat. Ryanair underestimated the impact of the strike and was forced to cancel 10pc of its French flights as many of its aircraft were trapped in Spanish and French bases. The airline fumed that Europe’s ACT should be banned from striking (as American ACT is), or use the recall to military service option which is used in Italy. Much more serious was CGT, SUD and UNSA’s strike on the French rail system which caused SNCF and RER cancellations. Travel Extra editor Eoghan Corry spoke about the strikes on Wednesday’s edition of Morning Ireland on RTÉ Radio One (download the podcast here) and on Thursday’s Drivetime. Will there be more ATC strikes? Yes.


Is end in sight to Aer Lingus pension dispute? Aer Lingus “reluctantly” agreed to increase staff pension schemes from €110m to €146.7m. The airline said it will engage directly with ICTU and the trade unions to formalise an agreement on IASS’s pension fund recommendations from its expert panel (panel members IBEC’s Brendan McGinty and ICTU’s Peter McLoone pictured), to find ‘full and final solution” and convene EGM to seek approval from shareholders). Christoph Mueller told The Irish Times  the decision to complywith the recommendation was because it was “the only solution that is capable of acceptance by all the parties”.

Niall GibbonsIreland topped the inaugural Good Country Index. Ireland came in first place in the study, based on 2010 data, for the size of its economy, its combined global contributions to science and technology, culture, international peace and security, world order, planet and climate, prosperity and equality, and the health and wellbeing of humanity. Tourism Ireland’s Niall Gibbons said: “Anything that re-affirms a positive image of Ireland around the world is good news for Irish tourism – so the results of the Good Country Index are wonderful news indeed. The image of Ireland is integral to our overall tourism offering; and ensuring we maintain a positive image around the world is a key factor in ensuring tourism growth into the future. We know that interest in visiting the island of Ireland remains high in all of our key markets. Our job is to convert that interest into actual bookings and convince people to travel here now.” The founder of the index, Simon Anholt, used data from 35 separate indicators from the UN, the World Bank and other international institutions to compile the list and said the Good Country Index was intended to “measure what each country on earth contributes to the common good of humanity, and what it takes away”. Anholt received backlash from the Irish, who he described as suffering from “severe Groucho Marx syndrome”.varadkar

Airline CEOs jet into Dublin for the IAA-hosted CANSO summit. The event, which started yesterday, will run until July 1. Leo Varadkarwill officially open the summit today, and keynote speeches will be made my Michael O’Leary, global futurist Rohit Talwar, Microsoft’s Tim Hynes and Richard Horne of PwC Partner.

CSO figures showed an increase of 7.5pc in overseas visits to Ireland over the period March–May. There has been an overall increase of 9pc in overseas visitors since January.

If you don’t need to print out your Ryanair boarding pass, here’s what to do – Travel Extra tried it this week and it worked. Email the PDF to your smartphone. Magnify the section which lists the name, seat number and bar code, and photograph it. The barcode will scan at the security entrance at the airport (this has always been the case) but now Ryanair staff at the gate will accept it and scan it as well. The Ryanair app is due in August, postponed form May, and will eliminate the need for paper but in the meantime the PDF barcode will work.

IT'S ALL ABOUT THE SUNNIES copyNot since the daughter of Peter Moss, the Ireland and Britain representative of Miami CVB and London Visit USA committee chair, went to become the face of L’Oreal, has there been as much stir in the travel business about a pretty face. Falcon’s “All About the Sunnies” campaign last week launched last week starring Alex. Niamh Kenny’s dog Alexhas been become a pin-up throughout the agencies of the lands, but don’t expect him on the catwalk soon, unless he is chasing one. Har, har.


Travel Trade

tryphavana groupCelebrity Cruises hosted 40 agents on-board the Celebrity Infinity for a ship visit including a tour and lunch in the main dining room. Picture shows Tryphavana Cross of Celebrity Cruises with Patricia O’Reilly, Emma Taaffe and Gemma Duffy of Best 4 Travel. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

IMG_5333Trump International,JW Marriott Marquis & Beaux Arts, Grand Beach Hotel, Menin Hospitality, Goldman Properties, Hard Rock Café Miami and The Seaquarium hosted members of the trade at Hard Rock Café in Temple Bar. Picture shows Cora Munds, Leah Parmeshwar, Roisin Carbery and Michelle Anderson of Topflight at the Miami Event in Hard Rock Café, Dublin. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

Travel Department’s Walking Club will host its first walk on July 4 in Glendalough with guide Teena Gates. The club is open to anyone with an interest in exploring some of Ireland’s walking trails with professional walking guides. Email for more.TO RUSSIA WITH LOVE

Tourism Ireland organised a three-day sales trip to Moscowfor a delegation of Ireland’s trade group. The group met Russian travel agents and tour operators and attended a networking event at the Irish embassy. A small delegation of tourism enterprises travelled to Moscow to take part in a sales mission – in a bid to grow Ireland’s share of the emerging Russian tourism market. Jim Paul of Tourism Ireland said: “It is important that we expand our focus beyond these markets and look to the longer-term opportunities presented by Russia and the other BRIC countries. Sales missions like this help foster relations with key travel trade, who can help us achieve our goal of delivering growth from this market of potential.” Picture shows Irish ambassador in Moscow Eoin O’Leary with members of the trade at a networking event to attract MICE business to Ireland.

Fáilte Ireland launched the #ThisIsLiving campaign to encourage Irish holidaymakers to holiday at home. New ads are now being broadcast on television and online, and feature footage submitted by fans of Discover Ireland’s Facebook page.


Falcon Holidays(Thomson/TUI) confirmed the appointment of Carol Anne O’Neill as Head of Ireland at event to launch their summer 2015 brochure. As first reported in Travel ExtraKos will be the new destination for summer 2015 available from Dublin with weekly flight departures. The brochure features 11 Holiday Villages including a new offering in Kos, 14 SplashWorld resorts two of them new in Menorca and Kos, 24 Falcon Kid’s Clubs properties and nine Thomson Kid’s Clubs properties , 7 SuneoClub properties and 21 new Inclusive properties with more all-inclusive upgrade options. Price offers include Cork to Algarve Pateo village May 24, 7 nights self-catering from €639pp, Shannon to Majorca Cristina Apts. May 16, 7 nights self-catering from €533pp. Picture shows Antoinette Young, Carol-Anne O’Neill, Helen Caron and Charlotte Brenner of Falcon Holidays at the launch event. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

  • Las Vegas roadshow will take place in Dublin this Wednesday (July 2).
  • Neale Chinery and Ian Simmonds were appointed joint managing directors of Travel Republic.
  • ITAA’s weekly offers are displayed here.
  • Sunway is offering seven-night trips to Gran Canaria for €899pp during July.
  • Sunway agent event will take place this Friday (July 4).
  • A survey by Allianz insurance says that cancelled holidays are the main reason for over half of travel insurance claims.Olympic trade 1

Olympic Holidays hosted over 80 travel agents at Titanic Belfastahead of the launch of its charter flights to Crete. Charter flights and holidays from Belfast International airport to Rhodes, Cyprus, Corfu and Crete will continue until October. Picture shows Mary Murphy from Olympic Holidays celebrating the first flight to Crete with local travel trade representatives: Ian McMichael of Oasis Travel, Trevor Ardies of Rosetta Travel, Terry Murphy of Terra Travel and Amy Murphy of Clubworld Travel. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

Tropical Sky announced late summer deals: Four nights in Dubaifrom €1,279pp; departing June 28—July 27. A week in Maldives from €1,699pp; booked by July 10, departing September 1 –October 31.

visit usa lounge june 25 2013Pictures show members of Irish travel trade and their hosts embarking on a fam trip organised by Visit USA Dublincommittee and hosted by BA, Philadelphia CVB and Atlantic City CVB: Ciara Foley of Platinum Travel chair of Visit USA Dublin committee, Lisa Byrne of American Holidays, Shane Cullen of Killiney Travel, Will Walsh of Clickandgo, Deirdre Sweeny of Sunway, Brian Hynes of Trailfinders, Loretta Mooney of O’Hanrahan Travel, Gerry Benson of Travelbiz and Sharon Jordan of The Travel Corporation. The group will spend two nights each in Philadelphia and Atlantic City

GTI Ireland is offering autumn trips to Lisbon, Alentejo and The Algarve Coast from €1,075pps, departing September 16—23; Majorcafrom €899pps, departing October 7—14; and several Battlefield tours from € & co copy

Picture shows Yvonne Muldoon of United Airlines with the winner of the trip to New York City, Amanda Hynes of American Holidays, Reginald Charlot of NYC & Company and John Donohue- NYC & Company at the NYC&Co trade eventin Dublin.

Oliver Smith of The London Telegraphlists the most annoying buzzwords in travel PR. The newspaper also lists the most unusual requests made by tourists. Highlights include a hotel guest who asked for two rooms on different floors at Lothario hotel in Queensland to accommodate his wife and mistress, and a ravished aircraft passenger who asked if he could pack a plate of his mother’s roast dinner in his hand luggage.

Davy Group hosted its annual transport conference in London’s Bloomsbury hotel. Around 200 meetings were set up between investors and executives from Aer Lingus, Ryanair, Irish Continental Group, Air France KLM and rimini_5418 copy

A group of Irish travel media visited the gourmet and holiday playground of Emilia Romagna to sample their beach, agriturismo and vineyard product. They were hosted by Topflight, Ireland’s largest tour operator to Italy and Emilia Romagna. They fearlessly scoffed truffles and quaffed locanda Antiche Macine San Giovesi, sampled the famous beach clubs, descended the Kamikaze and Extreme River waterslides at Aquafan Water Park in Riccione and ascended the 500 steps of the Torre degli Asinelli in Bologna on behalf of their readers. Photograph shows the group in the Hotel Patrizia  in Rimini: Eoghan Corry of Travel Extra, Tanya Sweeney of the Irish Independent,Carol Gunner of TV3, Mick Moriarty of TV3, Sinead Desmond of TV3 and Aileen Eglington of AE Consulting. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.




Photo by Robert S Donovan via Flickr

Talbot Hotel Group added The Dome family entertainment centre to its facilities in Carlow. The Dome is adjacent to the hotel property and was closed down in early 2014. It reopened last Monday (June 23). listed its most searched destinations via mobile devices in Ireland for January—May 2014:

  1. Dublin
  2. Galway
  3. London
  4. New York
  5. Killarney
  6. Cork
  7. Kilkenny
  8. Limerick
  9. Paris
  10. Belfast

Clarion Hotel Cork is offering a Fota Wildlife family package. A family of two adults and two children can stay B&B from €148 and will receive a family day pass to Fota Wildlife Park.

A music and dance show entitled ‘The Legend of Gráinne Mhaol’ will be performed at Hotel Westport every Wednesday. Tickets cost €25.

Following renovations, Hotel Royal on Lake Geneva will re-open on July 1.

Tony Webb of Planet Ocean Underwater Hotel is looking to crowdsource funds to build a 12-bedroom underwater hotel off Florida’s Key West.



Langhe vineyardsUNESCO added 26 new sites to its world heritage list, bringing the current number of world heritage sites to 1,007 in 161 countries. Among the latest additions to the list are the vineyard landscapes of Piedmont, Van Nellefabriek in the Netherlands and China’s Grand Canal. See here for the full list. Meanwhile, three sites were added to the UNESCO list of world heritage in danger: City of Potosí, the Cultural Landscape of Southern Jerusalem and Selous Game Reserve.

Chicago will be home to the George Lucas museum, set to open in 2018. The Windy City beat off competition from San Francisco and Los Angeles.

In a bid to improve the country’s image ahead of the 2022 Olympic Games, Japan is considering relaxing a law which forbids late-night dancing in public establishments. Since 1948, dancing has only been permitted until midnight in clubs with a licence in an effort to stamp out prostitution linked to dance halls. The law was largely ignored until the death of a student in a brawl in Osaka in 2010. published an infographic that illustrates the cheapest (and most expensive) beers around the world. Ukraine has the cheapest beer ($0.59) while Iran has the most expensive ($7.71). Ireland is listed as the sixth best place to find a drinking buddy with the average number of beers consumed per person in 2012 at 277.

Snow Centre Hampstead

Photo by Timo Newton-Syms via Flickr

New research by Snowsport England shows that the country’s indoor snow centres and dry slops have seen a 20pc increase in business since 2011. The report used turnstile data collected over five years and showed that the industry grew 10pc from 2011 to 2012, a further 0.4pc in 2013 and 11pc in the first quarter of this year.

Three weeks after an attack at Karachi airport, a gunman killed a women travelling on a Pakistan International Airlines flight from Riyadh at Peshawar airport.

The BBC reports that a tourist had to be rescued from Aonach Mor, one of Scotland’s highest mountains, after he hurt his ankle while climbing in flip-flops.

The famous Road to Mandalay will be re-opened to tourists thanks to a new highway between India and Burma.

At least five people were killed in an attack in the Kenyan village of Kasakakairu, which is around 34km from Mpeketoni where a terrorist attack killed dozens of people earlier this month.

EU registered roaming rates will drop from July 1. Calls will be 23c/min, receiving calls 6c/m, texts 7c and data 25c.MB.

new road safety app from the European Commission is now available. The app, called ‘Going Abroad’, is available for iPhone, iPad, Google Android and Windows phones. It includes road safety information for all EU countries and games for passengers. is promoting a cycling holiday on the Santiago de Compostela trail. Prices start from €739pps including accommodation. Flights and bike rental not included.

Winnipeg announced three new attractions: Journey to Churchill zoo (open July 3), the Canadian Museum for Human Rights (officially open September 20) and Thermëa spa (open late summer).


Food & Wine

Picture by Basheer Tome via Flickr

Picture by Basheer Tome via Flickr

National Geographic paid tribute to Dublin’s foodie scene.

The TradeIt entrepreneurial summer academy took place in Tralee IT.

The owners of Copenhagen’s Noma restaurant, which topped the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list this year, have designed a Nordic garden to prevent curious tourists peering in at diners through the windows.

Europe’s first international Halal Tourism Conference will be held in Andalucia on September 22 and 23.

Barack Obama is sending the White House chef Sam Kass, and other members of the so-called ‘American Chefs Corps’ to Asia on a mission to attract food tourists to the States.



ryanairA spell of bad luck for Ryanair this week: Three cabin crew members and two passengers were injured on board a Ryanairflight from Dublin to Barcelona after the aircraft hit severe turbulence. A flight from Greece to Cyprus was forced to make an emergency landing in Athens after a passenger claiming to be an airline mechanic attempted to enter the cockpit. The disruptive passenger was reportedly restrained by six or seven passengers using baby seat belts. And it was reported yesterday that two aircraft were damaged in a collision at Stansted airport.

A Belfast-Barcelona flight operated by Air Contractors Limited had to make an emergency landing in Cork after a suspected fuel leak.

British Airways will start new direct five-a-day flights from Dublin Airport to London City Airport from October 26.

Etihad Airways will acquire a 49pc share in Alitalia.easyjet

Easyjet announced a Belfast to Bordeaux and Jersey route, both to start on June 28.

A photography exhibition entitled From Limerick With Love opened at Shannon Airport.

A power failure at Sydney Airport caused serious delays for thousands of passengers travelling from the airport’s domestic terminal.

Airbus is considering upgrading its A330 model with engines from Rolls-Royce. designed an infographic to illustrate which American airlines have the speediest response times to queries on Twitter.

Air France will publish an internal report on domestic and European operations tomorrow (June 30) and is considering closing regional bases the carrier created just two years ago, in a bid to keep up with low cost rivals. CEO Alexandre de Juniac spoke to Bloombergabout the airline’s ‘transformation project’. Watch the video here.

Turkish Airlines announced that it will take part in a National Geographic ‘behind-the-scenes’ documentary series.

Airbus delivered more units that Boeing for the first time this year, but the latter continues to lead 2014 deliveries by 23 units.

Authorities of the search for Malaysia flight MH370 was set to autopilot until it disappeared and announced that they have 23,000sq miles of area to cover. Meanwhile USA Today reports that business is picking up at Malaysia Airlines, four months after the disappearance of flight MH370.

Air India was given Star Alliance membership.

Etihad Airways introduced mobile boarding passes on select routes for guests using its mobile check-in facility.

United Airlines installed 20 automated passport control kiosks at Newark Liberty International airport for returning US citizens.

Air Canada opened its Maple Leaf lounge at Heathrow’s Terminal 2 after moving to the terminal last week. The full list of moves is below.

Emirates is to give Airbus a chance to convince executives to reverse a decision to cancel an order of 70 A350 XWB aircraft.

VietJet flight crew after a plane bound for Da Lat mistakenly landed in Cam Ranh airport, almost 80 miles away.

British Airways added footage of a seven-hour train journey from Bergen to Oslo to its in-flight entertainment listings on long-haul flights.

BA is to offer up to 50pc off first class seats on its older Boeing 747s before retiring the aircraft.

Shares in European airlines fell sharply after Brent crude oil prices rose to $115 a barrel.

Antigua and Barbuda’s tourism minister Asot Anthony Michael announced that the new terminal at VC Bird International Airportwill be completed by November.

Saudia is to offer free Wi-Fi to first class and business passengers on flights between Saudi Arabia and the US, Heathrow, Charles de Gaulle and Dubai.

Travelport announced a new long-term agreement with United Airlines.

US Airways moved flights to and from London Heathrow to Terminal 3, zone F, with its ticket and check-in desks located near American Airlines. It also moved operations at Charles de Gaulle to Terminal 2A, area 8.

TAP Portugal announced a new route from London to Bogotá and Panama City, launching July 1. The route will operate from London Heathrow on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday and will allow access to Central and South American cities via Lisbon.

Turkish Airlines added a route from Istanbul to Cotonou. The flights will operate four times a week on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays. Introductory fares start at €420.

Ryanair launched a June hotel promotion offering a free €10 flight voucher to customers who book their flight and hotel together on before midnight, June 30.

Germanwings will operate a new flight from Stansted to Dusseldorf from August 22.

Photo by SJByles via Flickr

Photo by SJByles via Flickr

Over 70 passengers staged an 18-hour sit in on a Hong Kong Airlinesplane after their flight was cancelled.

Thousands of secret documents outlining plans for Berlin’s infamous BER airport project were found dumped in a skips.

Dean Dacko of Malaysia Airlines spoke at EyeforTravel’s TDS Europe about the disappearance of flight MH370. Download the 20-minute presentation here.



VigoCruisescapeshosted clients and members of the press on-board Fred. Olsen’s Black Watch. The group was given a tour of the ship and enjoyed a four-course lunch while she was berthed in Dublin. Black Watch has a number of sailings ex Ireland in 2015 including a 34-night cruise direct from Dublin to the Caribbean  or sail from Belfast for three itineraries including an eight-night cruise to Spain and France.

The Irish Boat Rental Association and ITIC published a report entitled Ireland’s Inland Waterways – Review & Outlook.

Eurotunnel must close its MyFerryLink service from Dover to Calais over the next six months following a lengthy dispute with competition authorities.alan lynch michael grimm

Cruiseescapeswas appointed the selling agent in Ireland for CroisiEurope. Picture shows Alan Lynch, managing director of Cruisescapes, Luis Espadalle fleet manager France and Michel Grimm International Sales Director of CroisiEurope. and Hurtigruten announced a two-for-one summer offer on the Kirkenes to Bergen route. The offer applies to: six-day south bound voyage, first passenger from €1,339, August 27 departure; seven-day north bound voyage, first passenger from €1,579; 12-day round voyage, first passenger from €2,349.

Thomson is promoting a “gold offer” to the Algarve in August. Fly Dublin to Faro departing August 10, seven nights half board accommodation from €1,760pp for two sharing. The cruise company also launched its summer 2015 programme. Highlights include a number of new ports including Durres, Kavala San Remo, as well as new balcony cabins for Thomson Spirit and Thomson Majesty.



Picture by The Irish Labour Party via Flickr

Picture by The Irish Labour Party via Flickr

Over 60 representatives from major tour operators attended a one-day tourism summit in Dublin organised by Tourism Ireland. The group was welcomed by Michael D Higgins and Leo Varadkar at Áras an Uachtaráin. Attendees included:

  • Bert Accomando, President of Sceptre Tours (US)
  • Marc Kazlauskas, President Leisure Division, Frosc (US)
  • Caroline Narloch, UK Contracts Manager, Shearings (GB)
  • Monika Singer, Head of Media and Sales, TUI Wolters (Germany)
  • Christian Ludwig, Manager, Gaeltacht Ireland Reisen (Germany)
  • Steve Reynolds, General Manager, Backroads Touring
  • Steve Galpin, Managing Director, CHR Travel LLP
  • Florence Gourdan, Sales and Marketing Director, Brittany Ferries (France)
  • Julia Howe, Regional Sales Manager Germany Austria Switzerland, Aer Lingus
  • Representatives from Sense of Place, ), Shearings, Albatross Group, DERTOUR Vacances Transat, Fáilte Ireland, NITB,Irish Ferries, B&B Ireland, ITIC, IHF, the Northern Ireland Hotels Federation, the Restaurants Association of Ireland, Incoming Tour Operators Association, Irish Caravan & Camping Council, Coach Tourism and Transport Council of Ireland, airports around the island and major visitor attractions.

Footfalls Walking and Wicklow County Tourism are organising a series of guided walks to the summit of Lugnaquilla Mountain in July and August. The scheduled walks will take place on July6, July 27, August 10 and August 31.

NITB promoted upcoming summer festivals in the six counties. Antrim: August Feile 2014, July 31—August 10; Belsonic, August 15—22; Irish Game Fair and Flavour of Ireland Fine Food Festival, June 28—29. Armagh: Argory Tartan music and food festival, July 20; John Hewitt International Summer School, July 28—August 1; 7 Hills Blues Festival, August 7—10. Down: Mourne International Walking Festival, June 27—29; Tanglewood Music & Arts Festival, July 4—5; Festival of Flight, August 8—10. Derry: Legenderry Maritime Festival 2014, June 21—29; Celtronic Festival, June 25—29; Red Sails Festival, July 20—26. Fermanagh: Cathal Buí Festival, June 25—30; Waterways Ireland All-Ireland Wakeboarding Championships, July 26—27; Happy Days Enniskillen International Beckett Festival, July 31—August 10. Tyrone: The Glenelly Rockin By The River Festival, July 13—20; Ulster Fleadh, July 20—27; Annual Bluegrass Festival, August 29—31.

Mexican instrumental duo Rodrigo y Gabriella treated fans to an impromptu performance on Grafton Street this week. But Clodagh Sheehy of the Irish Independent spoils the fun in her report on the shopping stree at peak tourist season. Shoppers “are being treated to overflowing bins, clouds of dust and deafening noise as they negotiate their way through a maze of workmen’s barriers”, she writes.Foynes Airport Air Traffic Control Tower taken in 1940

The restored Foynes air traffic control tower will be base for the Foynes/Shannon 75th Anniversary Air Show on July 5—6. The event will celebrate the 75 years since the first commercial transatlantic flight. Around 10,000 people are expected to attend the two air shows. [picture]

An Irish High Cross exhibition will open in Teach Diarmada Community Centre in Castledrermot. The free exhibition will be open every Friday and Saturday throughout July and August and during Heritage Week from Wednesday to Saturday (August 27—30).

  • Galway’s Radisson Blu Hotel is offering Race Week packages from €170pps.
  • Natural Retreat launched a summer sale offering guests Castlemartyr in Cork a 10pc discount off a seven-night self-catering break from June to September.
  • Niall Gibbons of Tourism Ireland gives a video update on Ireland’s overseas markets.
  • Leo Varadkar promised to consider a €2m funding application from Fota Wildlife Park.
  • Fáilte Ireland published an online customer segmentation toolkit featuring insights about key consumer segments in the domestic market.
  • Cliffs Exhibition at the Cliffs of Moher Visitor Experience opened to the public following a €300,000 revamp.
  • The seventh Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby took place at the Curragh Racecourse.

To coincide with the Lego Brick City exhibition, which runs at Titanic Belfast until July 13NITB is offering a hotel offer at La Mon Hotel which includes one night B&B and one two-course bistro meal from £179 (€224) per family of two adults and two children.Fourth of July New Ross

The third annual Irish America Day will take place in New Ross on July 4. Highlights of the event include a picnic on the quayside, fireworks over the River Barrow and Boston Tea Party re-enactments. See for more.

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