NEW YORK -- Despite sectarian violence and political instability in
the province of Ulster, the planned merger of the Republic of
Ireland and the Northern Ireland tourist boards is going forward,
as the new joint entity (Tourism Ireland) named a chief executive.
Paul O'Toole, former general manager of corporate development at
Ireland's tourism board office in Dublin, joined the bi-national
board of directors in overseeing completion of the boards'
unification, which is scheduled for September.
The recent unrest has not yet affected the merger plans,
according to a spokeswoman for the Irish Tourism Board in New
However, Britain and Ireland face an Aug. 12 deadline to broker
disarmament by the Irish Republican Army and Protestant
Should the talks fail, Ulster's provincial government could
fall, possibly taking Northern Ireland Tourist Board officials and
their agenda with it.