News highlights from Ireland, here, and around the world…
Irish Tourism hoping to attract UK’s ‘culturally curious
A new marketing campaign aimed at ‘culturally curious’ travellers in the UK was launched to lure visitors to Ireland during its off-peak season. The ‘Dublin is what happens in between’ project hopes to inspire potential tourists by promoting the “unexpected variety of experiences” on offer in the Irish capital. Costing €1.6 million and financed by Fáilte Ireland and a number of local businesses and authorities, the campaign will see advertising boards placed around the UK.
This will include extensive coverage in major cities such as Manchester, Birmingham, Liverpool, Glasgow and Edinburgh, highlighting Dublin landmarks such as Trinity College and the Ha’penny Bridge. Food entrepreneur Michael Carey, the chairman of the Grow Dublin Advisory Board, the organisation driving the project, said it was imperative to target the potential which currently exists in the low season period.
“We all know that this year was a really good year for tourism in Dublin with the city thronged with tourists and our hotels full throughout the summer but we need to look to Dublin’s long-term appeal.”
Big increase in Irish HIV cases
The number of cases of sexually transmitted diseases – such as HIV, syphilis and gonorrhoea – among gay men in Ireland is on the rise according to Ireland’s HSE . In a new report latest figures show that there’s been an increase of 50 per cent in syphilis cases and 30 per cent in HIV cases among men who have sex with men (MSM).
There was also an overall increase in STDs with the number of syphilis cases rising from 191 in 2014 to 258 last year, while the number of people diagnosed with HIV went from 377 to 485. And for the first six months of 2016, there were 873 cases of gonorrhoea compared to 550 in the first half of 2015. The rise in numbers has prompted fears that safe sex campaigns aren’t working.
Dr Derval Igoe explained that whatever the reason, the biggest increases have come from the MSM category.
“Although some of the increase in HIV can be explained by a change in the notification procedures and an outbreak in people who inject drugs, these increases have largely been seen in MSM,” she said. “MSM account for fourfifths of the syphilis cases and more than half of the HIV cases.
“For HIV, an increasing proportion of MSM born abroad – and particularly from Latin America – who were HIV positive before coming to Ireland, has contributed to this. “There are also increases in the number of MSM from abroad who report acquiring HIV in Ireland.”
Boomtown Rats’ Johnny Fingers is suing Bob Geldof for millions
Bob Geldof is being sued by one of his former Boomtown Rats bandmates who claims that he was responsible for their number one hit I Don’t Like Mondays. Johnnie Fingers, who played the keyboard in the group, said he wrote the music to the song as well as some of the lyrics. Geldof was credited as the sole writer of the single but Fingers is seeking two thirds of the royalties for his involvement.
Dubliner Geldof has dismissed the claims as “a figment of his imagination” and added that Fingers has benefit greatly from his association with the band. The song was produced following the shocking news that Brenda Spencer, aged 16, had fired gunshots into a playground at Cleveland Elementary School in San Diego, California, killing two and wounding nine.
When asked why she had committed the shooting, Spencer replied: “I don’t like Mondays.” Geldof, inspired by the tragic event, said he began writing the music and lyrics on his guitar soon after and that he first performed it at a Dallas radio station. Fingers, however, said he first wrote the melody and presented it to Geldof before adding in the lead vocalist’s lyrics and has been seeking credit since 2004.