TOURISTS rave about Fermanagh at this time of year, but one recent visitor was not impressed.
Writing in her popular Irish Independent column Brighid’s Diary at the weekend, Brighid McLaughlin did not hold back on what she thought of the place and its inhabitants.
The journalist who resides in the affluent suburb of Dalkey in Dublin did admit it was “very pretty” as she travelled around the county, but the compliments ended there.
Unable to find a coffee shop for a latte as she drove along, she was even more unimpressed with the Union Jacks hanging in Kesh, before en route to her hotel (she didn’t say where), she got lost on some back roads and ended up in Lack.
It’s fair to say, she couldn’t have been in a place further from Dalkey.
When she finally got to the unnamed hotel it was a letdown too. Describing it as “outdated and fusty”, worse was to come.
“It turned out to be what I would call a ‘stiff’ little spot. Put it like this you’d know you were in the North. You can sense it. And they can sense you. There’d be a lot of editing going on,” she wrote.
By the sound of it, there was a lot of paranoia going on as well.
Finally, she made it to Blake’s of the Hollow in Enniskillen where she met her friend Boysie, the only man who struck oil in Fermanagh after he hit a petrol pump on his way to “Irvingstown”. No excuse for the misspelling here – she would surely have seen it written on a signpost in Lack.
After reinforcing the old stereotype of southerners not being welcome across the border, the Hare Krishnas living in Upper Lough Erne also got a rub, but at least she liked them.
“In fairness, they all looked so happy and excited compared to the dour specimens I had met,” she lamented.
“My feelings on Fermanagh? Glad the other crowd took it.”
Luckily, by the time she got back to Dalkey, it was “buzzing” and she was back in time for the lobster festival where she had her fill of “Delamotte champagne” and “lobster rolls”.
Lack just won’t be the same without her.
To read more.. Subscribe to current edition