I write this post in response to a recent article in the Irish Times by Kathy Sheridan which had the title THE UNSUNNY SOUTHEAST.
Essentially, it is an article about the decline of Waterford City; its high unemployment rate; loss of jobs; lack of university status; ‘distress and decimation;’ and a little after -thought about shoots of hope.
Waterford City may not be thriving but it seems to me that an appreciation of what we have is being eroded by a sense of doom and gloom, self-pity and, dare I say it, loss of pride in our place.
Waterford City is stunningly beautiful, built along the River Suir, and with a long, long history that is the envy of towns and cities around the entire world.
Yes, Waterford has had periods when it was thriving ~ such as when Waterford Glass was in its glory days. Those days have passed, just as the waters of the Suir have flowed on. In many ways, the lure of Waterford Glass tended to divert attention from the extent to which Waterford City is a gateway to a magical county.
It is time for everyone associated with Waterford City and County to recognise what we have; to support local in every possible way. There are hundreds of businesses and organisations throughout the City and County which are doing excellent work and providing services second to none. They need to be nurtured and encouraged and given more and more reasons for hope and expansion.
This is the time when the people of Co. Waterford as a whole must do more than stand together. We must take steps to showcase this precious jewel that is our place.
The old saying ‘success breeds success’ is one that must be carved on every single Waterford heart and let’s watch together as the sun radiates hope and prosperity across a city and county that has such incredible potential to blossom.
16 thoughts on “The SUNNY South East ~ Success breeds Success”
Thank you Jean for posting this you are so right lets promote what we have not lament what has passed before.We still have so much to have pride in lets pass that on support local and shout about the great city and county we are.
Thanks very much for writing and for your vote of support in the post but much more importantly in Waterford City and County!
Yes thanks Jean…I think it has long been a matter of turning away from the external forms of income we became dependent on(big foreign industry) which made us vulnerable and focussing on cultivating what we have so people will come and visit and spend money. So much could be done here but it has taken those in charge a long time to see it.
Clare, I agree absolutely that we leave ourselves very vulnerable when depending on multinationals. Let’s hope that the necessary changes will be put in place through collaboration between local communities and local and central government.
… And never give up hope that each of us can bring about change in the world we live in!
What I see in your posts is beauty that takes the breath away and gratitude for the gifts that are there.
What a wonderful message Jean!
Thanks Val! I really appreciate your encouraging words.
Well said Jean. Even from where I am I know there is a lot of despondency. More lay-offs recently have been yet another blow. There is a lot of low-level anger that local politicians don’t fight Waterford’s corner and that a lot of opportunities are being lost to other places like Galway, Limerick etc.
But even in the days of ‘the Glass’ tourists went there and nowhere else much before heading off elsewhere. Waterford city and county do have a lot to offer but this isn’t widely known. Your blog has opened my eyes in that respect.
Ireland will continue to rely heavily on tourism but – as you have stated – it will take a special effort by everyone to attract a share of that to Waterford. And you can be sure that this effort won’t come from the Dublin chiefs.
Roy, I’m glad that this blog has been an eye opener about Co. Waterford. That lifts my spirits no end!
Yes, the quick stop at The Glass factory and onwards to other counties was a killer and it’s so important to break that cycle which has continued since Waterford Crystal has ceased to be such a pull.
Waterford sounds like a really special place. Hopefully things will turn around soon. It is very similar in the area I write about in my blog. Central Pennsylvania has strong communities–and beautiful scenery, but struggles economically.
Hi Sheryl, isn’t it interesting how two places at opposite sides of the Atlantic can have so much in common!
Well written, Jean, and it looks like a lovely place. I also hope things change in the right direction very soon! I love your first photo, just gorgeous!
Lauren, thanks for you kind words and good wishes. Much appreciated.
I have just returned to live in Waterford after an absence of 8 years (some in Dublin and some in Sligo) and I am thrilled to be back and have bought a house here. I am self-employed and have to travel all over Ireland to work but I then bring my spending power back to Waterford and spend it here locally. I have encountered two kinds of people since my return – group A want everything handed to them (they have this sense of entitlement – wherever it came from) and then there is group B (to which I belong) who accept that they have to get up off their bottoms and make things happen for themselves. We need to stop listening to group A and encourage and facilitate group B – Waterford is indeed a beautiful place to live and I am very happy to be back. Some people who write and comment about Waterford have never been here. Those that take the time to come are impressed by the scenery, beaches, mountains and other amenities. We have a lot to offer.
Hello Mary, many thanks for taking the time to comment and to elaborate on your experience.
I reckon if we had more people like you in Co. Waterford it would be up and running again very quickly!
Your story is inspiring ! With the right attitude and a sense of pride you can definitely change things for the better ! Every economy is struggling but it’s important to remember all the wonderful things your city has going for you ! I am planning on doing a work exchange to Waterford this year and I am beyond excited to head there!
Hi Jonathan, great to hear from you and I’m delighted that you are headed this way. I’m sure that you’ll love Waterford City and the whole county. It is pure delight!