THE tourism industry in West Clare has missed out on the primetime television exposure that comes with any appearance on The Late Late Show – all because of a failure to come up with the show’s traditional giveaway of “one for everyone in the audience”.
The Clare People has learned that Loophead Tourism – the promotional body for the industry in the Kilkee catchment area – couldn’t come up with the free giveaway requirements demanded by the producers of the world’s longest running chat show, thereby missing out on a glorious opportunity to promote the unique tourism product available on the peninsula.
Only last week Loophead was up in lights after being named as The Irish Times’ ‘Premier Holiday Destination’ in Ireland’, beating off competition from other tourist destinations around the country.
It was on the back of this national recognition for the peninsula that Loophead Tourism approached The Late Late Show, looking to maximise publicity for it achievements by securing a slot on Friday night’s programme.
“The Late Late Show were interested,” one tourist operator in Kilkee told The Clare People, “but for it to happen Loophead Tourism had to do the work to come up with a give-away. There had to be ‘one for everyone in the audience’,” he added.
With that Loophead Tourism went to work, but it’s believed that they could muster only 100 bed-nights as give-aways for the Ryan Tubridy-hosted show – over 100 bed-nights short of what was required by The Late Late Show team.
It’s understood that Clare’s newest hotelier JJ McCabe was the biggest supporter of The Late Late Show inititiave promising to provide 40 bed nights in his newly refurbished Kilkee Bay Hotel that was re-opened on Friday night last, while other hoteliers and bed and breakfast providers also rowed in with their support.
“We approached The Late Late,” said Killian Murphy, chairman of the Kilkee-based Loophead Tourism, “but we couldn’t deliver what they were looking for. They have a policy they work with and we couldn’t meet that target,” he admitted.
Reacting to the news, Loophead councillor, Gabriel Keating described it as “a missed opportunity”. Cllr Keating, whose motion to Clare County Council in 2009 sparked the opening of Loophead Lighthouse to tourists said “money would not be able to buy the publicity that a spot on the Late Late could have done for tourism in the area”.

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Joe Ó Muircheartaigh graduated from University College Dublin in 1989 with a degree in history and politics. After completing a Diploma in Journalism at The College of Commerce, Rathmines in 1991, he embarked on a career in journalism. Joe spent four years with Clare FM from 1992 and was with The Clare Champion from 1996 to 2005. He has won two McNamee Awards for GAA journalism and has published two books. Contact Joe on [email protected]

3 COMMENTS

  1. The obvious thing to do is wait a bit, get the prize in place and then go on the show. No point in having a splurge of publicity and then nothing – dripfeed.

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