Friday, October 26, 2007

Belfast Eye...sore?

- Jayne McCormack

Am I the only one who seems to have noticed a giant eye in the middle of Belfast?
That's right, they've brought the aptly London Eye right to our doorstep. Well, a similar looking attraction anyway.

Only it's not really an attraction. To me, and I'm sure to many others, it's practically an eyesore (excuse the pun). Estimated to have cost £3.5 million, we now have something that resembles a big Ferris wheel in our back garden. Certainly, it may increase tourism during the Christmas season, but I have a few qualms with the Eye.

Firstly, why on earth would the people of Belfast want a Belfast Eye? If you want to experience going up in the air and round in a circular motion, not only can you go to London and do this, but there are also other things called Ferris wheels people. They cost less and go faster.

Why does Belfast appear to be conforming to what other cities, such as Manchester and Seville, have done? According to the BBC, each trip on the Belfast Eye will last fifteen minutes and will give passengers "panoramic views" of the city. I'd like to know exactly how it will be possible to have these "panoramic views", because from what I've judged, the Belfast Eye isn't exactly in the most ideal of locations to do so. Why didn't they place the Belfast Eye nearer to the waterfront rather than in the middle of town beside City Hall? It just makes no sense whatsoever.

I also have real issues with the cost of the Belfast Eye. Instead of spending the money in areas where it's needed (in hospitals, education, or even in charitable areas, considering it's almost Christmas!) the council is openly whoring out the city to tourism! In my opinion, it's completely unacceptable. The only thing that prevents me from wholly slating the eye is that it's not a permanent fixture in Belfast. It's only here until March 2008, so far, but rumours are circulating that this could change if the Eye is successful.

That is why I'm calling on the people of Belfast to boycott this monstrosity. Not only will it be over-priced, but it's completely over-industrializing our city! I love Belfast, but I don't see why we need to do what other cities are doing to increase tourism. It's a piece of machinery that spins round. To me, the Belfast Eye is not tourism. It's a way for the greedy moneymakers in our society to exploit people around Christmas time.

Instead of queuing up for hours to get on the oh-so magnificent Belfast Eye, do yourself a favour - go to the Christmas market, talk to the citizens of Belfast, get a hot chocolate, buy presents, and go sightseeing in your own way. You'll have a much better time than you would by standing in an over-hyped, over-priced, badly placed Ferris wheel!


Blogger Barry Magee said...

I think it is a good thing.'s a bit of a novelty... but I think it will entertain a few people. At the end of the day it is only temporary.

10/27/2007 2:34 am  
Anonymous Ringo said...

Belfast desperately needs more tourist attractions though

10/28/2007 1:42 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ur so right...3.5million!!! r they wise????? also wat r they gona see from there apart from pink/blue buses, loads of angry/grmupy/tired/annoyed belfast christmas shoppers and shops!!! not really belfasts main attractions it??

10/29/2007 2:46 pm  
Anonymous Anna Pauli said...

No more a waste of money than our 5 sabbatical offices who are eh.... busy.

10/29/2007 5:39 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is easy to understand why people are going to be angry about this contraption. I certainly agree that there are many more appropiate locations for the Wheel but having said that, Belfast City hall is undoubtedly the biggest attraction for tourists. It is despiccable in the sense that the Council or whoever it was thats responsible thought that the money used for this gimmick was expendable but this is just typical of the post-conflict, money-grabbing North of Ireland!

10/29/2007 6:54 pm  
Anonymous Robert said...

Anon, if "the post-conflict, money grabbing 'North of Ireland' " bothers you that much why don't you emmigrate to the Republic of Ireland??
When you refer to the "North of Ireland" where exactly are to refering to - Donegal, Sligo or Dundalk perhaps?? OR did you mean Northern Ireland, United Kingdom (Act of Union 1921)!!!!!

10/30/2007 11:39 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Indeed Robert. Lets not forget anon, the bitching and whining the South did when they lost their special "poor us" privledges once the EU expanded.

But back to the subject plz.

11/01/2007 3:49 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I cant really see the point in it at all. For larger cities like london with far more landmarks to see its a bit different. I can see why people think its a good idea, tourism etc etc, but I feel there could have been better ways to invest that money for something alot more interesting and different for the city

11/02/2007 5:52 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You'd get a better view of Belfast from the top of the main library, which we can go up in for free! It's not really an attraction I would say either, being a tacky Ferris Wheel. The London eye at least looks the part and has an element of class to it, but this is undoubtedly coming out of the promotion of Belfast as a tourist destination. That's a campaign I wouldn't want to work on.

11/09/2007 8:34 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Belfast as a tourist destination. That's a campaign I wouldn't want to work on."

I lol'd :)

11/13/2007 2:40 pm  
Anonymous nikki said...

what could be more interesting and different than a big white wheel in the middle belfast? i think its a brilliant idea and brings belfast up to date with the rest of the bigger cities. its just tight grumpy students that are whinging.

11/15/2007 4:44 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

@ Nikki.

To look at what exactly? If there was something worth seeing, maybe. More development in the Titanic quarter would be money better spent.

11/19/2007 11:18 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We don't need ugly tourist attractions like that in Belfast. We need more drunken, violent, out-of-control 'students' marauding through residential areas into the not-so-wee hours of the morning. That'll REALLY get the tourists flooding in. Davy

3/04/2008 2:23 pm  

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