Watching paint dry – and Diarmuid Gavin poutApril 17, 2012 - 7:00am
The second series of Dirty Old Towns is currently being shown on RTÉ One and for the life of me, I can’t see why they have to have a Chelsea Gold winning gardener presenting it.
The concept isn’t a bad one. Diarmuid Gavin goes to a town and liaises with the local community to see how they can improve their ‘dirty old town.’ And of course there is some gardening element involved but not enough, in my book, to justify paying Gavin the big bucks for fronting the series.
Then there’s Colm Hayes, a Radio Two DJ who isn’t bad as the co-presenter – indeed he could carry the whole programme on his own.
Don’t get me wrong, I am a great fan of Gavin but I just don’t understand him being involved in this particular series.
He hardly made any suggestions in Cahersiveen. A group of professional team builders brought the unenthusiastic locals together in the community hall and, hey presto, they got motivated and actually did a great job of painting the buildings, making derelict shop fronts interesting and providing a few flower beds around the town.
We saw Gavin throwing his eyes up to heaven as the locals reluctantly started their bonding session in the community hall and over in Portarlington, he didn’t get his way about how to beautify a river walk. The locals won that one and why not? After all they have to live there.
But back to Cahersiveen where the town looked so uninviting that a busload of tourists turned on their heel back onto the coach.
I sat there looking at the telly thinking that Kerry tourism had it so good for years that they didn’t have to work at vowing the tourists. That blasé attitude, of course, is not the one to have in these recessionary times when all our towns need all the help they can get, business wise.
I stayed tuned in, partly to see how the town would look – and it looked so well that I am planning a trip there this summer – but also to find out what led the local community to letting the place go. However, the programme never revealed that, which is partly why I am planning to go there now to see if I can find out what happened to this Kerry town, one that was a thriving tourist spot.
For more, read this week's Connacht Sentinel.