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VolcaaaNOOOOOOO !! April 19, 2010

Posted by Rambling Man in General Bloggery, Ireland & the Irish.
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So there we were, half-way round the M50, making good time to the airport and the wife gets a text from my worried mother back home.  4.30 am !  Kids asleep in the back.

“Eh” says she, “There’s been a volcanic eruption in Iceland and they might be cancelling flights!”

“A what ?” says I “Sure how would that mean we can’t fly to Scotland?”

And so we park, get the bags in order, wake the kids and trek into the departures lounge … I open the door … and am hit by what can only be described as mayhem of epic proportions.  Thousands upon thousands of people !  Literally.  Going nowhere and getting antsy.

“They shoulda feckin toald us!” shouted one Dubliner to nobody in particular … followed by a curt “Dis is a loada bleedin shite!” from his scantily clad and equally neanderthal companion. I could sense our trip was doomed !

A quick glance at the board tells us all we need to know – all flights grounded for the foreseeable future and nobody to find information from … and then I spot it.  Two lads attempting to join ‘the queue’ to the Ryanair “information” desk … manned, despite the barbarian hordes at their gates, by 2 – yes, 2 – blue clad ladies.

These young fellas – obviously not able to speak English – were accosted by an abrupt “Oi!” from a white-clad airport security type older lady who pointed them in the general direction of about 400 other people further away from the queue they were trying to join.

“We book again!” complained one of them “We stand here no ?”

A classic Irish reply which added to their confusion “No love, I don’t care where you stand, but you’re not standing here !”  and so they were swept away in an ocean of other bodies to stand at the back of the 4 section, snaking queue to the Ryanair desk.

A passing American lady and her husband – who at least had some chance of getting home – entertained the onlookers with cries of “I just don’t know Manny, I just don’t goddamn know!”

Another bemused Wesht of Ireland man sighed “Ah Jaysus Noel they’ve cancelled the whole feckin place” before heading off in the direction of the already packed bar.

Just a few little ditties from the airport on a Thursday morning when a feckin volcano decides to go off … at least we can’t blame it on Fianna Fáil !

Ireland : 1 October ’07 October 1, 2007

Posted by Rambling Man in Ireland & the Irish.
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I haven’t attempted an “around the country” newsround for quite some time, and with so many things sticking in my mind, when better than now to start again …

Sporting wise, the country is trying to digest the rather shambolic performances of the rugby team, which have seen Ireland exit the World Cup competition at the earliest possible stage for the first time. Rugby giants like Fiji and Scotland march on … it’s beginning to dawn on me that we weren’t actually as good as everyone thought.

News reaches us this morning of the death of Irish born US soldier Ciara Durkin, a Connemara native serving with the Massachusetts National Guard. Ms. Durkin met her untimely end in an incident in Bagram airbase, near Kabul, Afghanistan. It is not yet clear as to the nature of the incident, vis-a-vis whether it was accidental or not, and there is to be an inquiry by the US military.

The funerals of the two tragic firefighters who lost their lives in a Bray, Co.Wicklow fire last week are taking place today and tomorrow. Mark O’Shaughnessy and Brian Murray were killed last week when a roof collapsed on them while attending a fire in the town. Ar Dheis Dé go rabhaid.

The new Minister for the Environment, John Gormley of the Green Party has increased the on-the-spot litter fine for litter louts to €150.  It goes up from €125 to €150 – I don’t know whether the extra €25 will frighten the louts into throwing their stuff on the ground anyway ??  “Litter is the most visible affront to the kind of environment most people want to see and live in.” says Gormley and sure who could argue with that.  It’s a pity though that he doesn’t put more money into policing and enforcing the rules, as and when the incidents happen … the litter in this town of a morning stroll to work is nothing but appalling … every morning …

Around 100 Aer Wingless Lingus pilots have written to their CEO about their interest in taking up one of the 30 new positions with the company based out of Belfast airport.  The pilots, who have been in dispute with management over terms and conditions, have threatened strike action … and want their pay and conditions in Dublin not to be inferior to those in the North.  Recently, however, Aer Lingus found out that Belfast was not in it’s jurisdiction as far as rule making went so couldn’t be held accountable … money does indeed make the world go round.

Construction on the second terminal at Dublin airport has gotten underway today so be sure to add even more time to your departure schedule, lest you be stepping over bricks and all sorts the next time you try to get away for a weekend.  €609+ million the project is costing … must be building it with the most expensive concrete blocks on the planet … looks like landing charges could be on the up too, in order to make some cash for the project.  You can sees plans and progress here … it’s set to open sometime in 2109 2009.

And finally ….

I came across this website which is proving to be excellent for doing up the old family tree – knock yourself out and hat tip to Keith in NZ for advertising this one.