A Fermanagh businesswoman has reacted with fury to an article on the county written by Sunday Independent columnist Brighid McLaughlin at the weekend.
Mrs Bridie Gormley from Belleek said there were a number of inaccuracies in the article which she branded as a “slur on the good name of the county as a great tourist destination”.
In her article McLaughlin describes a recent trip to the Erne County in which she quotes an anonymous source coming out with controversial comments about the county town of Enniskillen.
The towns of Lack and Kesh are also shown in a pretty negative fashion too.
Mrs Gormley, who runs Dulrush Fishing Lodge near Belleek has extended a public invitation to the columnist to come and stay there to see “the real Fermanagh”
Among the issues Mrs Gormley and several other members of the tourist community have is a quote from a “friend” called Boysie in Blake’s of the Hollow Bar, Enniskillen who told Brighid that the “blood has dried in the streets but Fermanagh is still in a political vacuum”.
He adds that “Enniskillen is a good business town, mainly loyalist, they are friendly when they are making money”.
“But generally, those outside it would not be too welcome to you southerners.
“The locals put a barricade across the parking areas on the lakes edges to prevent Southern registration vehicles from staying too long”.
And then Brighid adds:
“I thought all that shite was gone…not at all”.
She also makes a remark:
“My feelings on Fermanagh-glad the other crowd took it”
She also makes derogatory remarks about an un-named hotel and a bizarre tale about an old man in Lack who told her:
“I used to have a dog like you, I had to shoot it..too friendly”.
Ms McLaughlin also claims that there were Red Hand flags flying in the village of Kesh-something Ms Gormley says is not correct.
Mrs Gormley said:
“The article is just so negative, and it almost looked like the journalist had a particular mind set before she came to Fermanagh.
“It was actually shocking and totally contradictory to what we know about Fermanagh.
“The reaction from the Whats App Group in Fermanagh Lakeland Tourisms has been one of sheer fury and frustration that something like this should be written about our county.
“There have been several posts voicing their shock and dismay.
“She has missed something beautiful in Fermanagh and she has missed what the county is all about.”
For more on this story, see next week’s Fermanagh Herald!
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