Ugliest Business Buildings In Galway. Part 2- Ireland West Tourism Office

Would You Ask this Building to Represent Your Country on the World Stage?
Fáilte Ireland, and its predecessors and its subsidiaries such as Ireland West Tourism, has been a tremendous national resource for decades in promoting the positive aspects of Ireland both at home and abroad.
But its tourism office on Eyre Square in the heart of Galway City is a serious embarrassment to the nation. It is a decrepit-looking building that reeks of shoddiness and tacky modernity that is the antithesis of the large message proudly displayed on its front wall, namely Ireland's Cultural Heartland.For how can such a calamitous eyesore encapsulate the renowned Irish traits of traditions, quality, caring and friendliness? For is not the Image the Message?
Though I have in this context, the whole of the redeveloped and hugely expensive Eyre Square adds nothing to the attractiveness of Galway City. But that is a story that has been retold a thousand times over the last few years.

But rather than just moan aboutthe building, I am going to this week request the Galway Community representatives on the local Tourism committee to raise it as a issue of concern that needs to be addressed.

America, Barack Obama & the Gaza Crisis

The following is the text of a letter of mine published recently in the 'Galway Advertiser' newspaper that I wrote in response to a series of letters from 2 writers condemning local anti-war protesters:
(Photos from a recent pro-Palestinian Demonstration in Galway City)

The letters of Messrs McDonogh and Harrison seem to view local anti-war protesters as blinkered anti-American ideologues. The former states that he has not read any articles from “the socialists, lefties and liberals” condemning Islamic terrorists.As a member of this motley crew, I for one have written often condemning Islamic fundamentalism particularly for its attacks on women and non-Muslims. Hence I deplore their recent beheading of the ‘leftie’ Iraqi Kurdish feminist Nahla Hussein for her human rights activism. Sadly similar events are a daily occurrence in a country where a US-backed government legislates that women have less rights than they had under the dictator Saddam and where one of the world’s oldest Christian communities has all but disappeared since the Americans illegally invaded to topple its secular regime and secure control of its oilfields.
So if Mr. McDonogh wants to organise a public protest against terrorism in all its forms including that of the Islamists, I for one will join him. For amongst us Galway ‘lefties’ they are those who previously campaigned on issues such as Soviet invasions, Chinese imperialism, British injustices against the Irish, South African Apartheid…

Proud of American Connections
I worked in the USA, am proud of its historical connections with Ireland, have many American heroes and daily enjoy its technological innovations. But I recognise too that it is successive US regimes and its allies that stand accused of the greatest number of civilian deaths and human rights abuses since the aftermath of WW2.
Afghanistan: World's No. 1 Narcotic State
Hence unlike Mr. Harrison, I am wary of any Irish military involvement into propping up a misogynist Afghani regime supported by warlords and drug barons who have, as a result of the US-led invasion, created the world’s No.1 narcotic state that has brought untold misery to neighbourhoods across Ireland and elsewhere.
"We Serve Neither King Nor Kaiser"
Washington promotes the Afghan conflict as a war against international terror and for civilised values. But this reminds me of the WW1 Allies that tricked millions of young men from Ireland and other Imperial dominions into fighting for freedom and democracy when in actual fact they were used as cannon fodder to create a future world order that would attempt to deny Irish Independence, betray pan-Arab nationhood, secure British control over Middle Eastern oilfields and increase white colonisation of Africa.
President Eisenhower Warns Americans of the Power of the Military-Industrial Establishment
In his last address to the nation, President Eisenhower warned the American people to be vigilant of the dangers posed to their liberties by the growing power of the military-arms industrial establishment. This is truer today than it was in 1961. War is big business for corporations linked to the lobbyists, Dick Cheney and others connected to the Bush administration. Trillions of dollars have been paid to them as a result of operations in Iraq, Afghanistan and Israel while they appear immune to the recession that is tearing the heart out of the rest of the US economy.
The wave of popular radical movements currently gaining power across Latin America are indeed anti-Washington but primarily because they know that their white, elitist, traditionally repressive regimes were kept in power for decades by the USA in return for access to cheap raw materials.
Will Barack Obama's Presidency Lead To a Benign Change
in American Fo
reign Policy?
I hope that Barack Obama creates a more benign America. He is to be congratulated for his opposition to the Iraq war and Guantanamo as well as for appointing the world’s greenest and most scientific-savvy administration expected to implement a pro-environmental economic programme to combat climate change and to create millions of sustainable jobs in insulating homes and expanding renewable energies.
for Jewish settlers recently arrived from Europe. In the most densely populated region on Earth, its inhabitants are being used as target testing of sophisticated high-tech US weaponry operated by Israelis. As with the Nazis ‘Iron Fist’ approach, any feeble fight-back by the Palestinians unleashes huge destructive firepower.But I fear that he will do little to tackle one of the greatest threats to world peace, namely the expansionist terrorist state of Israel that acts as the US policeman in the region. Its ongoing land, sea and land blockade of Gaza represents one of the longest sieges in modern history and conjures up images of Nazi occupied Eastern Europe. Walled-in Gaza is the world’s largest ghetto/concentration camp, the majority of its 1.5million population made up of refugee families ethnically cleansed from their ancestral homes in what is now Israel to clear the wayEx-US President Jimmy Carter last year publicly lamented the stranglehold that the Zionist lobby has on all levels of US politics. The signs are that little will change. On the day after he received the Democratic nomination, Obama spoke at the ‘American Israel Public Affairs Committee’, the most powerful of US Zionist groups, to confirm that an undivided Jerusalem will always remain Israeli while calling for the isolation of democratically-elected Hamas. His secretary of state Hilary Clinton has been a long-time fan of Israel. She calls for action against Iran over its nuclear development while deliberately ignoring Israel’s huge stockpile of illegal nuclear weapons.The response from the world to the plight of Gaza is pathetic. To equate the victim with the aggressor is disingenuous. By their unwillingness to stand up to Israel, the Arab League, the US, EU and the Irish government fail to see history repeating itself in that today’s dispossessed Palestinians were the Jews, Armenians, Irish, Amerindians, Chinese, Aborigines and Poles of yesterday. Unlike courageous Jewish and/or Israeli peace movements such as ‘Not In My Name’ and JATO, they do nothing to get to the root cause of the conflict, namely Israel’s failure to implement UN Resolution 242 that includes withdrawal to its pre-1967 borders. Without such a move, there will never be peace between an increasingly militarily aggressive West led by Israel and an increasingly angry hostile militant fundamentalist Muslim world.