Monday 12 November 2012

There was a young man from Limerick...

... whose surname was Brazil, which is just confusing. At least the lovely lady from the local Tourism Ireland branch, who were hosting today's lunch, is helpfully named Galway. We travel people of various descriptions were there to meet a delegation of Irish tourism operation representatives, who gave considerately short speeches of introduction either side of our lunch in the Floating Pavilion, which is on the face of it an appealing venue but in practice possibly counter-productive, the gentle swaying making as it did everyone wonder how much they'd had to drink before in fact they'd even started.

Which was a shame, especially as the digestif was a 'Hot Irishman' - what used to be called an Irish coffee, before the marketing people got at it. It was a bit superfluous anyway, as there was a good number of, ahem, most attractive young Irishmen there anyway, with the dark hair and the blue eyes and that accent; plus, in the nature of the event, loads of enthusiasm and an eagerness to please. That's a bundle of attributes right there that simply can't fail.

What they were being especially enthusiastic about is The Gathering: next year, the whole world is invited to be Irish and to go there to join in a host of events that are being held all over the island (there was a lot of "the island of Ireland" - both north and south work together in tourism). Co Clare, for example, is inviting everyone called Clare/Claire to come. It's like St Pat's spread out over a whole year, when everyone can call themselves Irish and take part in the fun. And there's no doubt that fun will be had: no-one knows better how to party. Begorrah.

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