Michael Ring, junior mister for tourism, reacted to Gabriel Byrne’s comments on The Gathering on Newstalk’s Lunchtime show today.
Warning: May contain green jerseys.
Jonathan Healy: “Have you lost members of your own family to emigration? Do you have people, close to you, who are away?
Michael Ring: “Look it, I’ve had aunts and uncles, and my father. I came from a big family. My father, like many, many other Irish people out there. I remember my job on a Thursday. Jonathan, a lot of people will laugh at this, my job on a Thursday, when my father had to go to England, was to go down and get the wire from England, to bring the cheque up to my mother and she’d to go down and pay the local shop then and she’d have whatever was left then for the week. And sometimes that was never enough. But my father, like many, many more had to emigrate to England and like a lot more people had his English pension til he died. And I’ve aunts and uncles and family, and relatives are all over the world so they are.”
Healy “Just to finish, you’re selling this Gathering. You’re in London, you’re going off to sell it even more now I suspect. What do you say to the likes of Gabriel Byrne and Michael Cawley of Ryanair who had a cut yesterday, and indeed Terry Wogan. What do you say to those..I mean are they not pulling on the green jersey in your mind?”
Ring: “Well look it, I’m asking them to put the green jersey on. This is in everybody’s interest. It’s in everybody’s interest that we make this a success. It’s in everybody’s interest that we get people into the country. I want this to be a success. And I want to make sure that we can get badly wanted revenue into the country. That we can get as many visitors as possible into the country, that will create the necessary employment that we need and we certainly need employment, we need revenue and we need everybody wearing the green jersey at this particular time in the country.”
Earlier: Jim Miley: The Man behind The Gathering
Gabriel Byrne On The Gathering