Cruise control - Cobh’s liner success

ONE thing about being an island, as opposed to a landlocked country, for example like Slovakia, is the ubiquity of water. In Ireland you are never far away from it.

In countries such as Slovakia the percentage of land area covered with water is so small as to be classified as “negligible”. And that’s even with the mighty Danube flowing through it.

In Cork the deep waters of Cobh are releasing new opportunities with the ever-expanding season for cruise ships and international visitors. While some destinations are foundering under the weight of tourism — Venice being the most high-profile example with some 28m arrivals per year — the rebel county has barely dipped its toes.

Some 200,000 visitors are expected next year aboard 100 ships, generating €30m for the economy. There seems to be scope for growth and planners should be congratulated for their investment foresight.

While water is a word which is often bracketed with politics and crisis in modern Ireland, the news from Cobh is a reminder of its centrality in our national story.

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