Every year around this time, as you may know, I take a little time to take Regis University students to Ireland for a historical and literary tour. I am pleased to report that the land of my ancestors is as green as ever but, like our own country, the economy stands in marked contrast to last year's trip. Let me share some examples which Professor Matt Daly of Regis Accounting Department shared with me which may give you an idea of how things are here.
The exhange rate favors the dollar so this is good for us. The cost of tours is not up and remains about the same as last year. The rates for our bus is about the same.
Our accomodations at Trinity College in Dublin is down this year compared to last year. Trinity College ranks high on the scale for places to stay in Dublin. The rooms share the campus with the renowned Book of Kells, an 8th century Latin copy of the gospels. Thousands of people a day from all over the world walk through the darkened chamber sheltering this magnificent manuscript.
The cost of buses on Inish More, the largest of the Aran Island Chain off the windy coast of Galway, were down. And Regis students reported to me that cab drivers in Galway city thought the students were tipping too much. And I experienced the same. The driver said he was pleased that so many Americans were visting in the country and trying to help the economy.
Mary and Sheila Gallagher, no relations that I know of, manage the Nora Barnacle House Museum in Galway and they report their attendance is down but their Bloom's Day celebration on June 16 of this year was a rip roaring success with over hundreds of readers. Every June 16th readers from all over the world read selections from her husband's book, James Joyce's Ulysses. And my cousins, Benedict and Bernadette Gallagher, inform me that the price of sheep is holding steady for folks still courageous enough to ranch and farm in this world. Alicja from Poland who operates the Internet Shop here in Dingle in County Kerry where I am typing this blog shared with me that her business in 50% below what it was last year.
Despite this people remain optimistic and hope that times will get better. A woman in a church here in County Kerry whispered to me that candle sales remain slightly up. That means people are lighting more candles. I lit some for the Auditor's Office and for our city of Denver. May righteousness begin to flow like a mighty stream and our economy return to happier days.