Home & Away with Robert Walshe Kelly’s Resort in Rosslare was named best hotel at the 2011 national hospitality awards recently. The best value hotel was Blue Haven Hotel in Kinsale, Co Cork which the judges said offered “exceptional value” while the River Lee Hotel in Cork city won best business hotel. The best boutique hotel award went to Inis Meáin Restaurant Suites on the Aran Islands. It was praised for complementing its surroundings.The best pub award went to The Bank on College Green in Dublin for the quality of its service and the passion of its staff. The best pub with food gong went to The Wild Honey Inn in Lisdoonvarna, Co Clare. Its fare was “inspirational with a level of service and friendliness to match”. The best traditional pub was Crotty’s, Kilrush, Co Clare while the best hospitality website went to the Mulranny Park Hotel near Westport in Co Mayo.
Montego Bay is the second largest city in Jamaica and is the heart of the tourist industry on the island. The city has much to offer its visitors in terms of accommodations, shopping plazas, beaches, fine dining, and challenging golf courses. Montego Bay is an ideal launch pad for families wishing to enjoy a Caribbean holiday with natural variety and no stress The beaches offer the island’s best waters for swimming and other sports because the bay’s geography protects swimmers from rough currents. Doctor’s Cave Beach is the most popular area with its white sands, azure coastline, and a wide selection of restaurants and bars. Historic great houses such as Rose Hall offer a unique opportunity to explore a colonial heritage that manifests itself in the city’s Old World feel. This magnificent house was the home of the infamous Annie Palmer (The White Witch of Rosehall), known for her murderous ways to both husbands and slaves. Another house that deserves a mention is Greenwood Great House. This was the former plantation home of the Barrett family. Elizabeth Barrett Browning spent time there during her childhood. The house still contains furnishings and personal items belonging to the family. For bird enthusiasts, there is the Rockland’s Bird Sanctuary which houses countless varieties including
the Streamertail Hummingbird, the National Bird of Jamaica. Visitors focused on bringing home an authentic Jamaican souvenir will enjoy investigating the wares of Montego Bay’s street markets, such as the Craft Market and Old Fort Craft Park. If you prefer relaxation, then several renowned golf courses in the area are popular including Cinn Sunset at namon Hill, Half Moon and Ricks Cafe, Negril, Jam Tyrall Club. At the marine es Blu & z Jaz aica. a aic hie Jam Ritc nel Lio n park it is possible to watch l. tiva Fes fish within their marine environment without getting wet. A semi submersible watercraft allows passenfor the discerning traveler gers the benefit of viewing the rich seeking pure relaxation. With undersea from an air-conditioned no sandy beach, ladders lead underwater cabin. Located minutes down to the blue and green from Montego airport the all-inclu- waters below for swimming sive, family-friendly Holiday Inn Sun and snorkeling The cottages Spree Resort offers 524 guestrooms made of wood, thatch and cutand 27 suites. All rooms have a bal- stone have private outdoor cony or patio with air condition- showers and the four poster ing, satellite television, refrigerator, beds are draped in pure white coffeemaker, high-speed wireless sheets. www.tensingpen.com n Tensing Pen Negril, Jamaica. internet and full bathroom. Ameni- At sunset people from all over ties include two outdoor swimming the world saunter down the pools, hot tub, fitness center, tennis road to Rick’s Café the place court, children’s club, game room, six to be seen to eat, drink, party, dining venues & two bars. www.holi- swim, cliff dive and watch Weekly Best Buy dayinn.com The annual Jamaica Jazz native Jamaican divers. www.rickStena Line, is giving customers the & Blues festival is the social highlight scafejamaica.com The Pushcart res- opportunity to sail and rail to Britain of the year in the Carribean and the taurant and rum bar at Rockhouse on from only €36* single per adult for 2012 promises to be the best yet. pirates cove serves dishes inspired travel from Dublin Port to Holyhead Dubbed the “Art Of Music” the festi- by Jamaican street vendors. Natives or Rosslare to Fishguard. Whether val will kick off the third week of Janu- together with the Chinese, Spanish, your travel is for a short break, sportary in Rose Hall just outside Montego the English and Indian communities ing occasion returning to university Bay. It’s a three night festival which all brought their own culinary cook- or visiting family and friends, you draws over 40,000 people with Alicia ing techniques when they settled on can set sail from Dublin Port onboard Keys, Michael Bolton, Diana Ross, Air the island. Drawing from these di- the Stena Superferry and enjoy a rail Supply, Shaggy leading the stage in versities award winning Chef Kevin connection on to your chosen destirecent years. www.jamaicajazzand- Broderick offers both traditional and nation. There are lots of final destiblues.com For those interested in a new Jamaican cuisine with creative nations on offer including Chester, twin centre holiday Negril is located flair. www.rockhousehotel.com/ Liverpool, Manchester, Birmingham, at the westernmost point in Jamaica pushcart Negril may be best loved Leeds, London, Newcastle, Bangor, (about 1.5 hours drive from Montego for its casual, laid-back atmosphere Llandudno or Wrexham. www.stenaBay). It is loved by holidaymakers but it’s where you can have fun doing line.ie A week in December in Gran for its picture-postcard beaches, rug- absolutely nothing. Virgin Atlantic fly Canaria from €395pps is available ged cliffs, and breathtaking sunsets. three times weekly to Montego Bay from www.thomascook.ie Or a week Negril enjoys a Rasta-hippie flavour from London Gatwick all year round from Cork to Lanzarote from €385pps that made it famous in the 60s, but or to Kingston, Jamaica direct up to www.falconholidays.ie Stay three it has also been built up, with bigger March 2012 Fares start at £655.50 nights at the Armani hotel in the resorts on the east and smaller in- (including tax). For more information world’s tallest building, Burj Khalifa dependent ones along the West End please call 0044 8444 2092 770 www. in Dubai, with breakfast and flights cliffs like Tensing Pen a chic boutique virginatlantic.com For information from Dublin for stays from May 11th hotel which I instantly fell in love on Jamaica, visit www.visitjamaica. to June 30th from €1,169pps. www. with. The property is totally secluded com trailfinders.ie
Home and Away Extra Parisian leaders wheeled out the first of the city’s blue, bubble-shaped recently aiming to be one of the largest selfservice electric car schemes. Anyone with a driving licence will be able to pick up one of the four-seater electric “Bluecars” for short journeys around the city, dropping it off at any battery point. The Autolib service follows the French capital’s success with Velib, the self-service bike scheme that has been copied by London. The project is the brainchild of the city’s Socialist mayor, Bertrand Delanoë, to deal with traffic, pollution and the nightmare of parking. More than half of Parisians do not own a car. Robert Walshe is a freelance contributor / broadcaster and guest travel writer for River Media newspaper titles across the island of Ireland
with Kathleen Murray
Dumping animals - a major issue This practice is one that has gone on for a very long time. For the past three or four years it had eased up a bit as people had more money and were in a better position to hold on to animals, or neuter them. Dumping is not the answer to a crises with an animal problem. It doesn’t matter if it is a cat, dog, cow or horse there is an answer to the problem. Animal charities are overwhelmed with calls and animals, and are at the worst time ever in their history with regard to funding, so their hands are often tied when it comes to helping to solve the problem. To solve the problem that you may be having with an animal right now you need to ask yourself a few questions and be very honest with yourself
when you answer. No point in telling yourself a lie it won’t solve the problem now or in the future. First question... why do I want rid of this animal? Is it a money problem, a behaviour problem or a population increase problem? If it is none of these then you may be getting rid of an animal simply because you don’t like it or it has medical problems that are causing you more work around the house. If you don’t like the animal why was it there to begin with? Did another family member get it and now you have all the work with it? It is important to understand that whatever problem there is with an animal in your life the animal should not be the one to suffer, it is never the fault of the animal. Second question... Are
you in a position to put things right between you and the animal. Now that it’s there then working the problem can cure the problem in many cases, so there is no need to get rid of the animal. If it is not a behaviour problem then it may be a financial problem. For farm animals you can call the Dept of Agriculture for help. They will guide you and offer assistance in resolving the problem. There is no shame in not having the money (the people who robbed us blind have no shame) but there is a shame in leaving an animal to die of starvation or to fend for itself “in the wild” when it has been raised by people who provided the food up until now. It won’t know how to feed itself, and won’t have access to proper feeding if dumped.
The risk to the public, to motorists especially, from wandering animals is very high not to mention the injuries that the poor animal will receive as well. If it is a cat or a dog then it may not meet with an understanding person if it appears in someone’s garden and causes trouble like raiding bins or chasing their cats etc. If it is fortunate enough to arrive in good hands then you have caused misery for the animal and also for some soft hearted person as well, as they may not be in a position to keep it and won’t know what to do with it, ending in anxiety, sleepless nights and less food for themselves as they may be in hard times also. If it was a problem that your animal has been reproducing because you couldn’t afford to
neuter it then the charities may be in a position to help you with that if you explain your case. You could do a little fundraiser for the charity and get enough to neuter your animals out of it, back from the charity again. It is a way of helping them to help you. If all is lost and you can see no way forward then ring the ISPCA and surrender your animals so that they can be put to sleep kindly, or rehomed elsewhere and go on to have a decent life elsewhere with someone in a better financial position right now. You would be more at peace with yourself if you didn’t have to dump them somewhere and then wonder what became of them, not knowing if they lived a cruel life or died a cruel death.