We’ve all seen this iconic signpost many times – indeed it has been used in the marketing of Ireland as a tourist destination in the past in many print media campaigns. The removal of the famous signpost in the County Clare village of Ballyvaughan has led to anger amongst the local population, who fear that the sign removal will have an adverse affect on Clare tourism, not only in the village but also the surrounding areas.
The decision by the National Roads Authority of Ireland to remove the tourism landmark of Ballyvaughan has caused a lot of recent controversy in the small village in the heart of the Burren.
The landmark is noted for its many signs describing what to do and see in the scenic village and environs, from local pubs, restaurants and guesthouses, to walking routes and attractions such as Ailwee Caves, and directions for the charming villages of the area: Lisdoonvarna, Doolin and the famous beach at Fanore. The signpost is located in the main junction area of the village, and as such is a great point of reference for tourists holidaying in the region.
There has been a strong local reaction from tourism providers and people in local politics, and all have requested that the NRA return the signpost to its iconic former status. They feel that the sign gives tourists the chance to discover the wealth of diverse places and activities to enjoy in the area.
For its part, the NRA has stated that the sign removals is in compliance with national policy on the presentation of signage on routes, and it is a fair point as the NRA’s responsibility is for organsing the safe movement of traffic on our roads.
However, it is obvious that tourists need information and without the many places to see and go listed on such a signpost, they will simply pass on through without sampling what to do and see in the village and the area. Many of the signs have been there for generations – for example the famous tea rooms of Ballyvaughan have been marked by signpost for nearly 30 years.
The iconic image was a place where curious tourists would often photograph, and find out what to do in the area. Such replacing of the signs could well have an adverse affect on tourism in the area, and most of the signs are now pointing to the left, despite that going right will take you on one of the most scenic Burren coastal drives, with great views that look over majestic Galway Bay.
The argument is set to run and run, with local groups and the NRA set for further discussions in the coming weeks, hoping for a swift resolution.
Do you recognise the famous Tourism landmark sign of Ballyvaughan? What do you think of the proposed revised signage? Let us know your thoughts in the comments box below. Thank You!