Online Strabane slur prompts fury of local residents

Thursday, 26 January 2017

AN Internet description of people in Strabane as vodka-guzzling gamblers who smoke too much has prompted fury locally.

The less than complimentary portrayal has been compiled by CAMEO UK - a company which provides marketing information to websites worldwide.

Sites including the popular online directory are among the high-profile users of the site and who carry the description.

Included in the 'profile' of local life are factors listed such as poor housing, poor Internet access and low car ownership.

The people of the town have also been described as having a preference for spirits, being gamblers, heavy smokers and having a tendency to read tabloid newspapers rather than books.

Unsurprisingly CAMEO's work has been met with a huge backlash from locals who know a very different story of life in the border town.

Dozens of Strabane natives, near and far - including fashion designer, Alison Clarke, wife of golfer Darren Clarke - have taken to social media networking sites to express their disgust at the descriptions.

Catherine McKane said the description was "appalling". She said: "Have these people ever visited Strabane? It's one of the most friendly towns anywhere. I have relatives who regularly come over from England and they love it."

Elsewhere, Jon Neil, said: "Strabane is always an easy target so I'm not surprised that that's what some suit has come up with when they've probably never been near the town.

"The description is far from the truth and I'd love to know where they got their 'statistics' from to back it up. It doesn't reflect the town I know at all."

Anthony McPhilemy called for an apology. He added: "They were short-sighted. Whoever wrote that doesn't know the Strabane people because the Strabane people are nothing like how they have portrayed us. Who has the right to write that kind of rubbish? This is the friendliest town in Ireland."

CAMEO UK, who provided the statistics on which the comments were based, has since apologised and said it has spoken with about the description.


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