National Geographic Loses Its Way on Ireland

Posted By: January 11, 2008


National Geographic Loses Its Way on Ireland

Capitol Hill. Thursday, January 10, 2008 – In its Travel Catalog 2008-
2009 National Geographic gets lost even before it embarks on its guided
tour of Ireland, May 11-24.

“Who wants to go with a travel company that is so geographically
confused and disoriented?” asked Fr. Sean Mc Manus, president of the
Capitol Hill-based Irish National Caucus.

He said, ” National Geographic claims Ireland is in ” the British
isles”, and proceeds to list the places on its tour of Ireland: Skellig
Rocks/ Dingle Peninsula, Aran Islands? Cliffs of Moher, and county
Donegal. Northern Ireland is not even mentioned thereby making it
impossible for National Geographic to try make the argument (specious
though it would be) that the North ” is British”. Therefore,National
Geographic has simply no excuse for its absurd error.”

“And to make matters worse,” Fr. Mc Manus continued, ” the catalog is
introduced by National Geographic president, who bears the proud name
of John M. Fahey, Jr. Surely he should know that Ireland is not a
British isle but an Irish isle? If someone wants to give it a name, it
is usually called the Emerald Isle, Mr. Fahey”.

Fr. Mc Manus has written to Mr. Fahey urging him to correct his error
and reassure Irish-Americans that National Geographic is still
committed to excellence and to geographic sensitivity. ” Surely in
marketing terms alone, it does not make sense for National Geographic –
as we approach St. Patrick’s Day – to be so insensitive in its
advertising? It could make its point simply – and far more accurately
and sensitively – by advertising a tour of Britain and Ireland”.