A TV show about efforts in Carrick-on-Suir to attract older visitors to shop in the town has been accused by local councillors of portraying the town negatively.
The criticism of RTE’s Local Heroes show about the Golden Years Discount Wednesdays scheme for 0-65s was levelled by councillors at the Town Council’s June meeting.
But councillors voted six to three against sending a letter of complaint to the show’s presenter Joe Duffy.
Councillors reported receiving complaints about the show’s “unflattering” portrayal of the town. They took issue with it showing run down parts of the town and Joe Duffy’s criticism of aspects of the Golden Years Scheme, which aims to entice older people to visit and spend in the town.
Councillors also complained the segment on the scheme’s launch showing a poor turnout of visiting Active Retirement groups was filmed on a miserable day and at the wrong time of the year. But they praised the efforts of Carrick-on-Suir Business Association members and others in trying to promote the scheme and town through the show.
Cllr Pierce O’Loughlin (Ind) denounced the show’s portrayal of Carrick as a “total disgrace” and proposed the Council write and request Duffy to return and portray the town properly. “He needs to apologise to Carrick and rectify the damage done to tourism business,” he declared. The proposal was supported by Cllrs Liam Walsh and Kieran Bourke.
But Cllr Sylvia Cooney-Sheehan argued a letter wouldn’t help the town, particularly if they needed television coverage in the future. Local Heroes wasn’t a tourism show, she pointed out. It was about towns in difficulty trying to turn their economies around. Cllr Patsy Fitzgerald, another of the six councillors opposed to the letter, said it would be a “waste of postage” and he feared Joe Duffy would make “a skit” of it.