Ryanair has defended its use of a photograph of Cork to promote flights to Dublin in a French newspaper — by claiming nowhere in the capital looked as nice.
The advertisement for €29.99 flights to Dublin has run in some French publications, but the accompanying photograph triggered a few memories for exiled Corkonians.
The picture was taken on the rooftop bar of Electric on Cork’s South Mall, with a view of Parliament Bridge and the nearby Holy Trinity Church.
Ryanair confessed to the cunning ruse yesterday.
“We know it’s a picture of Cork, but there’s nowhere as beautiful in Dublin as Cork, so we used it to try and get more French passengers to fly to Dublin,” Ryanair deputy CEO Michael Cawley said.
And yes, he’s from Cork.
Aside from playing up to Leesiders’ belief that the city is the centre of the universe, the advert does press home Ireland’s case as a great holiday destination and makes a number of mentions of The Gathering — even though Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary last year dubbed the initiative “The Grabbing”.
While the advertisement claims “this year Ireland will have an exceptional year with the Gathering”, last December Mr O’Leary said people coming here for the initiative would be “screwed”.
“The Grabbing — welcome to Ireland, next year you’re screwed,” he said in an interview in which he likened Tourism Minister Leo Varadkar to Lyon’s Tea because apparently he was “all talk”.
The owner of Electric, Ernest Cantillon, said he was delighted that his bar featured in the advert, but said Cork “wanted its share of the credit”.
“We had nothing to do with it, but we do get lots of requests to use Electric because it looks so different,” he said.
“I’m guessing we licensed [the image] to Fáilte Ireland and said to use it whatever way you want. Obviously we are delighted wherever it ends up.”
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