We're winners with Micheal on our side

We're winners with Micheal on our side

Eoghan Corry

MONDAY: The talk about hurling, if not the celebrations, extended past midnight. I had the pleasure of sitting beside Micheal O Muircheartaigh, one of life's great gentlemen at the All- Ireland hurling final. Gracious and winning, it is amazing to see how people light up when he enters their company, responding with smiles and handshakes and learned discussions about this and other matches back to prehistoric times. He could give lessons on how to be a celebrity.

TUESDAY: Tullamore Dew has opened a new tourism centre aiming to attract 40,000 visitors a year. Micheal O Muircheartaigh was there, which is a good start. Along with Lockes, it will make a nice stop in the midlands, a region which has long claimed it has been neglected by tourists and now faces the job of getting them to divert off the fast road to Galway. Ray Byrne, of Wineport, used to say if you met a tourist in Athlone, they were lost. The hidden jewel of the region is Boora bog. Even better, it is free.

WEDNESDAY: Leo Varadkar announces two new routes on morning radio that have not been finalised yet. Politicians, you couldn't make them up.

THURSDAY: Royal Caribbean comes to DUB to talk DXB. Brilliance of the Seas will be based in Dubai again this winter offering a real winter alternative to the Caribbean with great flight connections, now that the cruise line has abandoned the notion of trying to sail people down to the Canaries from Southampton in winter. The other sad news is that Malaga and Palma will not be home ports next summer, as the group concentrates its European fire power on Barcelona, Rome, Amsterdam and English ports Southampton and Harwich.

FRIDAY: A day at the Kildare Village with Maria McConnell. She tells me the growth in shopping traffic from China this year is astonishing. It is now the Village's biggest tourist market followed by South East Asia, the Middle East, Russia and Australia, with the Americans and Brazil vying for sixth.

It sets me thinking. When the Americans talk tourism, shopping is the first thing they mention. Not us.

SATURDAY: Qantas and Emirates got married without inviting us to the wedding. Pity, I would have sang. Was it a shotgun wedding, forced by Etihad's dabbling in Virgin? We never shall know.

It makes Dubai the new Singapore and it is good for Ireland because it means not going to Heathrow en route to Australia with Qantas.

It is bound to open up loads of extra one-stop Aussia connections.

SUNDAY: The Camogie final in Croke Park is a boisterous event, but why don't we have 82,000 there like at the hurling final?