I have been amazed by the reaction to my mild criticisms of my visit to Ireland, which I made clear I really enjoyed. I understand my article has been widely quoted all over Ireland.
There has been a lot of negative and positive comment, but I would like to address some of the negative vibes first.
Re: hotel lights. Two places I stayed had a mysterious system where you had to place your electronic room key in a slot in order for the lights to come on. No one told me that with the result that I was blundering around in the dark before I figured it out.
Two other places had so many light switches that it was impossible to know which ones to turn on or off.IE, there was no master switch.
Foreign workers. It irritates me intensely to see attempts to make this a racist point, it is nothing of the kind and plays to a kind of political correctness that is utter nonsense.
If you are only staying in hotels as I was the main opportunity to meet Irish people is at the reception, doorman or bar and restaurant level. Almost everyone I met was not Irish--a real drawback. Fact, not racism.
I am a well-experienced traveller and do not expect ‘American’ standards whatever that means. However, a basic source in politeness and attention to the diner would not go amiss in a few of the restaurants I ate in among the staff Irish and foreign.
Road signs. This might be passed off as some Irish eccentricity as many did in their comments, but to me it was a major drawback. Nowhere is perfect, certainly not America, but if you are driving from Dingle to Limerick and there are no signs whatever for Limerick or none that I can see what is enjoyable about that, especially when you have to catch a plane?
The overnight flight: This is the biggest no-brainer and cannot be explained away . On the day I arrived I saw several families who were on the flight , many with cranky young kids sprawled around the hotel waiting area waiting hours for a room--as my wife and I were longing for nothing other than a decent shower and sleep. Nothing smart about that.
Finally, I’m glad to see most agree with me about Dublin Bus.I apologize i mixed up DART which I did not travel on and Luas which I didn’t either, only because I couldn’t figure out how to pay the fare.
Anyway , I’ve booked to go back in September this year, bringing my Irish American father in law for the first time, I’ll let you know how we get on!