Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 17 December 2014

'No loud Americans' sign in Republic of Ireland, slammed by Kerry residents

A sign in Peter's Place, Waterville, County Kerry
A sign in Peter's Place, Waterville, County Kerry

A shopkeeper in Waterville, County Kerry faced a backlash from members of his community, after he said he would not serve “loud Americans”.

Peter Fitzgerald posted a sign in Peter’s Place cafe which banned loud Americans, as well as travellers on coach and bus tours.

Northern Irish holidaymaker Maurice Campbell spotted the sign while on holiday, and posted a photo of it on Twitter. The tweet soon went viral, and made international headlines.

He told CNBC: "I thought it was out of order. It seemed nasty. 'It's in an area that's very dependent on tourism."

Now, his fellow villagers have hit back by saying they won’t let the sign compromise their valued relationship with US visitors.

Waterville is part of the scenic Ring of Kerry, an unspoilt part of Ireland which attracts tens of thousands of tourists a year. Almost 1 million travellers from the US went to Ireland last year.

Albert Walsh, chairman of Waterville Business Association, told BBC News: "What we want to do is reflect the real attitude to America.

"There is a loud welcome in Waterville for all loud American visitors and friends.

"Ours would be the last place on the island that would be anti-American."

Louise Huggard, who runs the Butler Arms Hotel, said visitors always talk of the sincere warm welcome they feel at Waterville: "from Charlie Chaplin to Tiger Woods to the late Payne Stewart who was honorary captain of Waterville golf links,” she said.

“So, we have now decided as a village to be a bit louder about welcoming our visitors. Especially our American visitors.”

Mr Fitzgerald has not responded to a request for a comment on the sign.

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