A visitor that we could do without
Sir -- Pierre Benitot's letter (Sunday Independent, September 4, 2010) is the most disrespectful tripe I have ever read. For someone to judge Ireland on the basis of a holiday is completely ludicrous.
Ireland is the most beautiful country in the world bar none. If someone can drive through the countryside and not be blown away by its natural beauty then they will be unable to appreciate the landscape of any country. Mr Benitot's comment that Ireland has nothing to offer tourists but a "wet pasture with two stones, three sheep and a drunken farmer in the middle" is nothing short of an ill-informed, blatantly ignorant stereotype.
Although I agree with his views of Fair City, the writer's opinion of our pubs and hospitality is totally unfounded. A nice pub is a great place to meet local people but it is in no way the centre of our tourist industry. It is obvious our French visitor came to Ireland with a clouded perception based on our alcohol-loving reputation that misrepresents us all over the world.
Ireland is a country in trouble economically but as far as our people go, we are the most resilient and proud nation in Europe. Mr Benitot's letter is hard to read as an Irishman but when I look around at the people here, or the heart-stopping landscape, I will soon forget the words of the unenlightened Frenchman.
Although I like to see our tourist industry flourish, Pierre Benitot is a visitor we could do without here.
Edenderry, Co Offaly