“Every accomplishment starts with the decision to try”On Friday last the MV Julia sailed in to Cork after months of tireless work by West Cork Tourism led by Conor Buckley. I had the privilege of working with the group since the beginning of the year when the plans to buy the ship came to light – and back then, the reality of her arriving to Cork was just a dream. The idea that 300 people would pledge €10,000 each to become shareholders of a Co-op may have seemed like madness but when people showed up in their thousands to support, the group knew this may just be possible! I have never met such a group of determined people who, from the beginning were not willing to take no for an answer and even after hours and days when it seemed like it would never happen they refused to give up the good fight. It’s an amazing thing to witness such people at work – all fighting for something which will not make the difference to their pockets but a difference to the region that they grew up in and love. The return of the Cork Swansea route is worth hundreds of millions to the Cork and Kerry region and when in service will create well over 500 new jobs. The Fastnet Line is due to commence service next March 2010 but between now and then the group will continue to work to raise another €2.5 million for working capital. Seeing the MV Julia sail past Roches Point and Cobh and in to Horgan’s Quay last Friday was an amazing feeling and seeing Conor and the men who lost many nights sleep while doing deals to get her this far on the bow made me feel extremely fortunate to have had the chance to work with such amazing people. The feeling of goodwill and hope on the pilot boat I and 11 others were on was fantastic and in days where the news is full of negativity and depression, we all felt lucky to be witnessing the most positive and hopeful event to be taking place in the country that day.
We were joined by TV3 and RTÉ as well as the Irish Examiner and I think it is safe to say that we all went away with a spring in our step with the realisation that there are great things happening around us every day and it’s not all bad news. It just goes to show that even today, if you have a dream and you’re determined to make it work, it will work. Well done Conor and all at West Cork Tourism for the new hope and motivation – if you could bottle and sell it you would all be millionaires! It was “A Beautiful Day”!
Watch TV3 News Piece on the MV Julia Arrival; http://www.tv3.ie/videos.php?video=14150&locID=1.2.&date=2009-09-25&date_mode=&page=2&show_cal=1&newspanel=&showspanel=&web_only=&full_episodes=