Trying to survive in the most distressing social and economic times in living memory calls for special medicine. With unemployment, emigration, empty restaurants, hotels closing, businesses at the abyss and banks on their knees, the time has arrived to fall back on reserves and play our trump cards. One of those is a great underused sleeping giant.
Here in Mayo is one of the world's greatest possessions and one of the finest wonders. A place any developed country that saw our recent growth would have recognised and appreciated its importance and value to the area and ensured its attraction and potential.
It is hard to believe in this day and age, with our modern methods, this pillar of faith is not more accessible to all the public and has hardly changed since St. Patrick's time.
In the Reek's vicinity the west has iconic world-class assets comparable to any tourist destination, centred by the scenic mountain St. Patrick walked on during his long vigil.
But the top of the Reek is only available to those lucky enough to have the ability to climb it. Many thousands travel great distances every year for the experience of walking in St. Patrick's footsteps while also viewing Clew Bay, one of nature's greatest sights.
It is easy to imagine if Croagh Patrick were easily accessible to everyone the numbers would increase. Such a visitor influx would be a certainty with a cable car system in place.
It is something I first wrote about in 1999 as a sustainable new Millennium project for Co. Mayo. The once-off investment and effort needed to provide this facility and boost to the west's economy would in relative terms be priceless in the return it could create.
A cable car facility on Croagh Patrick would, I believe, transform the tourism industry in Mayo and further afield.
I don't think there is any doubt that for every hundred people that climb the Reek there are at least a thousand who would use such a facility. An easily accessible Croagh Patrick could be tied in with Knock Shrine in promoting a dual pilgrimage centre, benefiting all Mayo.
But the Reek's main prize is its scenery as a 'must see magnet' for the natives, the Irish diaspora and sight-seeing tourists alike.
The naturalists and the environmentalists will possibly have nightmares at such ideas but this proposal would not in any way interfere with its traditional climbing fraternity. This would make the Reek accessible to everybody such as families, guided tours and pilgrimage groups, that nobody would want to deny the spiritual and scenic experience. A well-designed and constructed system, tastefully placed, would have minimal effects.
With such a system installed on the Reek another totally new area of tourism could be opened up for Mayo. That is the potential to develop a 'dry skiing' facility on its lower slopes as part of the infrastructure needed would exist.
This is a fast growing sporting tourism segment with big spending power that would extend the tourist season greatly.
New tourism projects like this in the west are long overdue and with global warming shrinking the traditional ski slopes the time might be ripe to take advantage of events.
The time for such development has never been more necessary. With a Taoiseach and a Junior Minister now in the right place, that time for Mayo was never more opportune. They will, no doubt, do their best for the west, but like the saying: 'God helps those ----'. The drive for such progress needs to be generated locally. It is now 'get up and at it time'.