Conflict of Interests

If we set aside the party political considerations ( please) a story in today

  • peteb


    It’s not clear who you are comparing to the ‘collectors’ you mention?

    I would describe ‘memorialising via a heritage trail’ as an attempt to fix a myopic view of history for yet more ‘Olde Ireland’ tours while ignoring a living landscape which includes the people who have always lived and worked in it. Managing that resource is not an impossible task.

    And I don’t think we should ignore the party-political angle.

  • Davros

    Pete, I read it as the Heritage industry needs vs the needs of the Stone Industry itself. For completeness they want to knock the living industry on the head so that it can be stuffed and mounted.

    It’s a variant of the conflict that is seen between the need to generate income by promoting tourism in endangered communities when that very tourism damages what is trying to be protected.
    The ideal example would be seen when we compare Inishmore and Inishmaan.

    Another variant is in the Gaeltachts which need jobs to survive, but Jobs from outside bring English speakers and further diminish the Gaeltacht ethos.

  • Mark McGregor

    I find myself naturally hostile to large mining operations. I suppose it comes from growing up watching a cancer eating away at the halfway decent vista of Black Mountain from the West Belfast side with eternal promises of it being returned to its original form long after I die.

  • peteb


    In this case it would appear that tourism, and isn’t that a novel promotion by Willie Clarke, and managing the resource are not mutually exclusive.

    There’s a quote in the article that seems relevant to your point too, Mark.

    Norman McKibben, MD of S McConnell and Sons, “Instead of sounding the death knell for the Mourne granite industry, would it not be better to allow people to visit a real working quarry and see how the stone is quarried?”

    “We are very aware of conservation and this is not an intensive quarrying operation. We are attempting to conserve a traditional cottage industry.”

  • Davros

    Mark, this doesn’t seem to be a large operation.
    I suspect part of the problem may be that mining has tended to be close to the harbours to facilitate and minimise the cost of transport – Lower Mourne, between Annalong and Newcastle.