Over the previous two weeks we brought you on a historic tourist trail of the city to celebrate the launch of a fabulous new map of Waterford which has proved very popular among my regular readers going on the very favourable reaction so far with many expressing surprise that while they were generally aware of Waterford’s antiquity as a city they didn’t realise that it has so much to offer. This is all there to be enjoyed and cherished for its own sake but there’s such potential to develop Waterford as a top tourist attraction being so richly endowed with our historical heritage. Serious strides have already been taken recently in making real headway in this direction and credit is deserved for what has been achieved but we must press on to truly reap the economic return of the huge potential that’s out there. The Tall Ships next year, the new Museum on the Mall set at the heart of the Viking Triangle, plans for the Quay Way and more are key elements to building that future.
But let’s be more aware and wary of the ‘Dark Side’ as highlighted by Nicola Beresford on these pages last week or should that read ‘lowlights’ of deadly sites of gross dereliction in various parts of the city. She rightly castigates this gross neglect of the respective property owners. Nicola had harsh words to say and expressed forcibly, every word merited and needed to be said mar bionn an fhirinne searbh (the truth can be bitter). While the City Council has deservedly attracted praise for the great imaginative advances have been made, this issue of dereliction needs to be tackled backed by strict enforcement laws with heavy financial penalties, as a matter of urgency. Such swift and stern action by the Council will no doubt be fully supported and appreciated by the public at large, all of whom have a part to play, by the way, in building our future and while we are it, cleaning up our act!