Signs of the times
Before anyone starts thinking that there's a theme developing here, let me assure you it's only a segue.
Them lovely folks at the Samaritans, the Irish Water Safety Board and Clare County Council have together concocted a very cunning plan to cut the number of suicides occurring at that former beauty spot turned cacky commercial interpretative centre and car park, the Cliffs of Moher.
They're going to put some signs up. With the Samaritans' telephone number on. Along the cliff top. Bound to work, that.
Concerned that the hordes of human lemmings who annually seek oblivion by a quick plunge off the 214 meter high cliffs into the foaming briny at their foot has given the site the reputation of a suicide blackspot, not to mention the effect such behaviour has on sales of Book of Kells tea-towels, Leprechaun key-rings, and that weird hippy music with noseflutes and whale noises, the plan is to advertise the Samaritans services at strategic points along the cliff-top.
In today's Irish Times Director of the Samaritans in Co Clare, Mary Lynch, said: "we have tried to make the signs visible, while being conscious that it is a very sensitive and beautiful area."
Tis a shame that the lads who built the car park, the gift shop and that nuclear bunker-cum-interpretative centre yoke didn't display the same sensitivity to the natural environment. Still maybe they'll put in a mobile phone mast just to make sure the Samaritan's service has a cat's chance of working. Nothing worse than having second thoughts and not being able to get a signal on the old dog and bone. I ask you.
I know suicide is not a laughing matter but plans like this clearly are. Anyone affected by the subject of this blog can contact the Samaritans for help and support via this website or More O'Ferrall for advice on discrete signage in areas of special natural interest.