Kerry locals fly stars and stripes

"Americans are welcome in Waterville", locals insist

Kerry locals fly stars and stripes

Locals in the Kerry village of Waterville have come out in force to proclaim their town 'American-friendly' - despite reports to the contrary.

Residents and business owners took to the streets of the picturesque Kerry town yesterday evening to wave US flags - as well as Canadian, British and EU ones, for some reason - in a demonstration designed to counter the impression that 'loud Americans' were not welcome in the town.

The display follows controversy in the last week over a sign declaring 'No Bus/Coach or Loud Americans (sic)" which has made headlines in the US after it was placed in the window of a local café.

The controversial sign, affixed to the window in Peter's Place café and hostel in Waterville, had raised eyebrows on social media after being spotted last month by a Northern Irish visitor to the Ring of Kerry.

Café owner Peter Fitzgerald has so far not commented publicly on the matter and it is not known if the sign is still in place.

Chairman of the Waterville Business Association Albert Walsh told Radio Kerry that the village is working to turn the story around.

"When you take a story like that to the extreme it would lead you to believe that there wasn't a welcome," Mr Walsh told Radio Kerry.

"You do have to turn that story around - turn it into a positive one.

"It might actually have a beneficial effect in the medium to long term."

Mr Walsh said that Waterville was celebrating the relationships the village has with its visitors.

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