Did Mayor see any victims of torture, whipping, stoning on her Gulf trip?
I read your article on page 40 of the January 12 issue of the Galway Advertiser. I think it is wonderful to read about the buzz and uplift that the Volvo Ocean Race will knowingly yet again deliver to not only Galway but the whole of Ireland.
Nevertheless, the reason I am contacting you is not about the VOR but about the relationship the Mayor of Galway is making with Abu Dhabi and her push on tourism and business relations with that area. Yes, it is a fabulous blue sky location and many Irish people have settled there and no doubt, with the new Emirates flight contract they will frequent the place a lot more in the future.
However it is worth pointing out that it is a country that is a master in disguise where many visitors can be wined and dined into seeing the place through rose tinted glasses. This country is a place that likes to pick and choose its news stories (usually all good) and I am sure they treated the mayor very well knowing that she would bring that good news story home with her.
But it is worth noting in a country where we can speak our voice freely that unfortunately the people of the UAE, like many other Middle Eastern countries cannot and it has many human rights cases against it. People have been stoned, tortured and whipped to death there for petty crimes or no reason at all.
As for their building masterpieces that we see on our travel programmes and various websites which dazzle us into holiday submission, it is worth pointing out that they do not report half the deaths or treat the construction workers with any respect including not reporting the temperatures on a day when it reaches 50C or above in case their cities of dreams cease to evolve for even one second.
My message to the readers is, hooray for the VOR but don’t jump into spending money or making corporate investment deals with a severely corrupt country just because our mayor brought her rose tinted glasses on her trip instead of her sunglasses.
Mise le meas,