Robert Louis Stevenson, the Scottish novelist who wrote ‘Treasure Island,’ didn’t have much regard for politicians.
“Politics,” he wrote in ‘Familiar Studies of Men and Books,’ a collection of his articles and essays is “perhaps the only profession for which no preparation is thought necessary.”
John de Courcy Ireland once described to me his vision of politicians, “standing on a headland, with the beauty of the sea behind them, their backs turned to it and looking inland.”
I am not dismissive of politicians, a democracy needs politics, but an island nation needs more dedicated attention from its politicians to its maritime interests.
Things have improved in recent years, but there remains a sense of much said and promised, but a lot more that could and should be done. The removal of the dedicated Department of the Marine and the hiving-off of aspects of maritime affairs to several other Departments have not been a positive indication of State support for maritime matters.
Gerry Salmon, Managing Director of MGM Boats believes that needs to be changed, which he made clear at Cork Week where we met to talk about the leisure marine sector, the new Prestige 460 which he is marketing and the increasing popularity of motorboating driven, he said, by people who are “cash rich but time poor.” Our discussion got onto what he would say to the Taoiseach about the maritime sector, if he could “grab him…”
Listen below, on my weekly Podcast, to what Gerry Salmon would say to Leo Varadkar.
• And if you’re wondering about the very impressive new Prestige 460 aboard which I was talking to Gerry Salmon … it costs €790,000 – but that’s the top of the market… Boats come cheaper than that….